Texas Case Alleges Sex Assault by High School Teammates and Coach
Locker rooms of high school and college sports teams have long been associated with pranks and rude behavior. However, a Texas lawsuit alleges that some young basketball players went far beyond traditional locker room conduct.
The mother of a high school basketball player in the North Texas town of Perryton is suing the school district and four individuals after a locker room incident in which she alleges her son was sexually assaulted. In her complaint, she says her minor son, identified only as John Doe, was attacked by a teammate three separate times in the locker room after one of the team’s practices. She says fellow player Tad Pshigoda tackled Doe, straddled his chest, “thrust[ed] in a violent motion” toward his face and attacked Doe from behind with a stick used to hit a pinata. Teammates allegedly cheered while the coach watched and did not try to stop it.
Two other players are named in the suit because it is alleged that they filmed the assaults and then posted the video on Snapchat. The video was shared with other members of the team. Another defendant is the coach who was “present and able to stop the abuse, but did nothing” according to the complaint.
Doe’s mother also sued the school district, which she says was made aware of the incident but failed to discipline the players, took steps to sweep “the grievous criminal behavior under the rug” and retaliated against Doe and his family by denying Doe’s transfer request after the assault was brought to light.
In total, the sexual assault lawsuit lays out five claims:
- Common law assault by Pshigoda
- Production of child pornography by Pshigoda, the two players who recorded the video, and the team’s coach
- Distribution of child pornography by the two players who posted the video on social media
- Violation of Title IX by the school district for failing to provide equal education opportunity to Doe
- Title IX retaliation by the school district
The family seeks $2 million as compensation for the attack itself and $1.8 million in damages related to the video. Punitive damages are also requested.
Notably, the situation has already been through the criminal justice system. Pshigoda pleaded guilty to assault with bodily harm, a Class A misdemeanor, for which he was sentenced to six months’ probation. The players who recorded the video were not criminally charged, nor was the coach. The three boys were suspended from school for a few days while the coach was never disciplined and is still teaching and coaching in a neighboring town.
As this case illustrates, sexual assault does not always involve a female victim and a male aggressor. If you have been sexually assaulted, you deserve justice, and the Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C. is here to help you get it. Call my Kerrville office at 830-955-8168 or contact me online to schedule a confidential consultation.