Seattle Prep facing two lawsuits over alleged sexual abuse

Seattle Prep denies that the administration had any knowledge of any improper conduct at the time.

SEATTLE — Seattle Prep is facing two lawsuits from attorney Darrell Cochran, who is representing two women who allege they were sexually abused as college students.

“These two women were very good athletes at Seattle Prep at the time,” said Cochran.

The lawsuit, filed last week, names the women only by their initials and alleges that two decades ago, when they were minors, the school failed to protect them from a coach who was also a teacher at Seattle Prep. KING 5 does not name him because he has not been criminally charged.

“During his time, particularly in the early 2000s, he groomed and sexually abused a number of young female athletes, student athletes in the Seattle prep,” Cochran said.

The coach helped manage the school’s collegiate softball team and eventually became the athletic director of Seattle Prep. Records show he regularly received positive performance reviews from the school, but the lawsuit alleges that Seattle Prep “willfully turned a blind eye” to what was happening off the field. The school denies this allegation.

“We know there were faculty, staff and fellow coaches at Seattle Prep who had concerns,” Cochran said.

Some of these concerns are highlighted in an investigation conducted by the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The OSPI report includes parts of a letter from a former student sent to the school’s board of trustees in September 2020, which alleges the coach used “grooming techniques” and “emotional manipulation” that disrupted the “transition to sexual… Advances made seamless.” The report also states that the coach spent time with female students on campus, occasionally in his office with the door closed and off campus to accompany students on shopping trips and to dinner.

OSPI revoked the teacher’s education certificate in Washington in December 2021. That means he can’t teach in the state.

The lawsuit says the school “knew or should have known” he was a sexual predator.

A spokesman for Seattle Prep made the following statement:

“The safety and welfare of our students at Seattle Prep is of the utmost importance. Seattle Prep has a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual misconduct and has long-established prevention, protection, and reporting protocols. Seattle Prep is currently investigating two allegations of sexual misconduct that stem from circumstances that allegedly arose two decades ago. Seattle Prep denies that the administration had any knowledge of any improper conduct at the time. In fact, one of the plaintiffs conceded that a sexual relationship only took place after she had graduated and was no longer a student. Seattle Prep will assert all of its legal defenses against such claims. However, Seattle Prep will address these claims with respect and compassion for the plaintiffs.”

CLOCK: The top stories of KING 5 on YouTube Seattle Prep facing two lawsuits over alleged sexual abuse

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