Athlete Sexual Abuse Lawyers
It is not your fault
You are not alone if you or a loved one, as an athlete, has been the target of sexual abuse or sexual assault. The shame, embarrassment, and trauma of sexual abuse leads many victims to repress or block out the heinous acts from their memory.
It is well documented that most athletes who are sexually assaulted do not report their abuse. When cases of sexual abuse in sports make headlines, it is another reminder that sexual abuse in athletics is a real issue that needs to be addressed.
The current system of oversight of youth sports fails to protect the athletes from sexual abuse. Sports organizations and governing bodies must do more to protect young athletes from predatory coaches, trainers, and doctors. The lack of safeguards means that parents and young athletes bear the burden of identifying and reporting inappropriate behavior. Our team works to place that obligation onto the institutions that are responsible for the safety of their athletes.
When sports organizations fail to protect athletes from sexual predators, our award-winning sexual abuse attorneys can hold them accountable. Our trauma informed law firm not only helps abused athletes move forward with their lives, but through our efforts we make organizational changes to help protect future athletes from suffering the same type of exploitation.
Sexual abuse by doctors in sport
Larry Nassar, Richard Strauss, Robert Anderson, and George Tyndall, are all doctors who are now infamous for systematically abusing athletes. They are also some of the most prolific sexual predators in the history of the United States, with each forever changing the lives of their thousands of victims. Their positions of trust at large universities and lack of institutional oversight gave these doctors unfettered access to students on an ongoing basis.
Many of the abused athletes hesitated to come forward because of the power these doctors had over them. Not only were the athletes taught to respect authority figures, but scholarship athletes also feared losing their ability to earn a college education should they report their abuse. Doctors who use their position to abuse athletes to feed their vices violate the trust of their patients, their professional ethics, and the law.
These doctors need to be held accountable, as do the institutions that allow them to perpetuate their abuse. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a doctor at a University or sports organization, our athlete sexual abuse lawyers can help you achieve justice.
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The lasting effects of sexual abuse
The compassionate team of advocates at our law firm fights for the rights of sexually abused athletes because we understand the long-term impact these assaults have on the athlete's lives. U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams acknowledged this harm when he sentenced former Iowa Barnstormers basketball coach Greg Stephen to 180 years in federal prison for molesting more than a dozen young boys. In sentencing the basketball coach, Judge Williams reportedly said,
“the harm the defendant caused to the children is incalculable and profound.”
He also is quoted in an AP story as saying that Stephen’s conduct was of such an extreme nature that it warranted an effective life term.
At Estey & Bomberger, our team of victim advocates does more than fight to help athletes who have suffered from sexual abuse secure just compensation for the damages they have endured. We actively work to affect change on sport organizations to better protect future athletes from sexual predators. Not only have we secured record settlements for our clients, but thanks to the efforts of our founding partner and sexual abuse attorney, Stephen Estey, US Youth Soccer Organization (USYSA) now has a legal duty to require criminal background checks on coaches.
CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY BILL 218 | AB 218
California Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) allows ALL athletes of sexual abuse to file a legal claim before the year 2022 comes to an end. As long as the sexual abuse occurred in California, it does not matter where someone lives now or where they lived when the abuse occurred. Thanks to AV 218, many athletes who were sexually abused in California in their youth during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, are now coming forward as adults. This monumental bill provides those who have long suffered due to the abuse they experienced the opportunity to hold the predators who used the youth sports organizations throughout the state accountable for their despicable actions.
Founding partner and attorney Stephen Estey was at the forefront of pushing for the legislation that allows survivors the ability to achieve the justice they so rightly deserve. As a career sexual abuse attorney, Stephen recognized that for many survivors, it takes years to come to terms with the events in their past so that they can come forward.
Unfortunately some victims of sexual abuse carry their burden throughout their life, never to reveal the painful events in their past. To continue to suffer in such a way underscores how laws that put arbitrary legal time limits on reporting sexual abuse are unfair, and can restrict victims for achieving justice. Such limitations only benefit the youth sports organizations that, in order to protect themselves, covered up the coaches within their ranks that perpetuated these vicious acts.