California university ex-trainer charged with sexual assault

March 11, 2022 GMT

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — San Jose State University’s former director of sports medicine faces charges of civil rights violations for allegedly sexually assaulting female student athletes while treating them for injuries, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

Scott Shaw, 54, is accused of touching the breasts and buttocks of four students who played on university athletics teams “without their consent and without a legitimate purpose” between 2017 and 2020, the DOJ said in a statement.

Shaw faces a maximum of six years in prison if convicted of all counts.

The federal charges come after earlier allegations of sexual assault filed by more than a dozen female swimmers who accused Shaw of inappropriately touching them during physical therapy from 2006 to 2009, when the university investigated and cleared Shaw of all wrongdoing. He denied misconduct, and no criminal charges were filed against him.

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The school launched a second investigation in 2019 after swimming coach Sage Hopkins alerted school officials of more alleged misconduct.

Shaw resigned in 2020 and fallout from the growing scandal prompted University President Mary Papazian and Athletic Director Marie Tuite to resign in 2021, after federal prosecutors found that the university had failed to adequately respond to reports of sexual misconduct against Shaw even though complaints had been reported for years.

San Jose State agreed to pay $1.6 million to 13 female student athletes as part of a settlement announced in September 2021 between the university, the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.

San Jose State “continues to be grateful for the student-athletes who came forward to share their painful stories,” the university said in a statement. “Their bravery and resilience are commendable, and we hope that with the charges today, they are one step closer to justice.”

Shaw’s attorney, Lori Jeanne Costanzo, didn’t immediately responded to requests for comment Thursday.