Article from the Portland Tribune
Two former Colton students who claim they were sexually abused as children by a Colton coach filed a lawsuit in circuit court Aug. 1 against the coach and Colton Youth Football Association, Colton Youth Sports and Colton Mat Club, accused of failing to stop the abuse.
According to the complaint, former football and wrestling coach Kenneth Scott Carroll used his position as a youth coach to “engage in various sexual acts” repeatedly over a period of years, from about 2000 to 2004, while employed by the three clubs.
Plaintiffs Ryan Proffitt and Steven Romero seek a combined $11.5 million in damages, stemming from sexual abuse of a child, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence. They are demanding a jury trial.
The case is a child lawsuit against Carroll and his employers “for abuse suffered by children at the hands of a trusted authority figure and under the auspices of an institution of public trust.”
According to the court document, defendants Colton Youth Football Association, Colton Youth Sports and Colton Mat Club all employed Kenneth Scott Carroll between the years 1999-2004.
Prior to that Carroll had been a football and wrestling coach for the Colton School District in 1998-99, at which time he was fired because of misconduct. After his termination, however, “Carroll continued to have access to Colton School District facilities and property through his employment with the three Colton sports clubs named defendants, the complaint states.
The plaintiffs still live in Oregon. Proffitt, born in 1984, was enrolled as a student in the Colton School District. Romero, born in 1989, was also enrolled as a student who actively participated and trained with Colton Youth Football Association, Colton Youth Sports and Colton Mat Club, coached by Carroll.
The plaintiffs allege that after termination by the school district, Carroll continued to have access to Colton School District students up until about 2003, as football coach to the Colton Youth Football Association, at Colton middle and high schools.
The plaintiffs allege that while working as coach, Carroll befriended the plaintiffs and their families, using his positions to become a father figure to the boys; gained their families’ trust and confidence as an authority figure and as a trustworthy and valuable mentor to the two plaintiffs, gained the permission, acquiescence, and support of the plaintiffs families to spend substantial periods of time with them as children, both on Colton School District Property and off.
The plaintiffs claim they were conditioned to trust Mr. Carroll, to comply with Carroll’s direction, and to respect him as a person of authority, referred to in the complaint as “grooming.”
Proffitt alleges that Carroll, using his authority and position of trust as coach during the grooming process, induced and directed him as a boy to engage in various sexual acts with Carroll 60 or 70 times.
As a result of the abuse, the plaintiff alleges that he continues to suffer severe and debilitating physical, mental, and emotional injury, including pain and suffering, physical and emotional trauma, and permanent psychological damage, all to his non-economic damages in the amount of $3.5 million, plus another $1.5 million for medical and treatment costs.
According to the lawsuit, Carroll abused Romero on at least 30 occasions while he was coach for the three clubs.
Romero is suing for $5 million, plus an additional $1.5 million for medical and treatment costs.
The lawsuit claims that while employed by the Colton School District in 1998-99, Carroll abused a student in the presence of Proffitt and other students. That act led to Carroll’s termination with the school district.
“This behavior was so egregious as to put the Colton School District and defendants on notice that Mr. Carroll posed an immediate and serious danger and risk to the physical, mental and emotional safety of plaintiffs, as well as other students of the Colton School District, to-wit, Carroll forcibly disrobed the student and tied him up outside, naked, in a position of physical and emotional vulnerability, leaving him to fend for himself for a disturbing period of time.”
This happened prior to Carroll being employed by the three youth clubs named as defendants in the case.
In February Carroll was sentenced to prison for 18 years and nine months after he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing children in Oregon and Washington.
Carroll, who was arrested in Montana and extradited to Oregon in September 2014, pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree sex abuse and two counts of second-degree sodomy.
In Washington, police said there was evidence Carroll might have been abusing children as early as 1997. Washington detectives said they found evidence that Carroll had recorded the abuse.?
Read more about Kenneth Scott Carroll in one of our previous blog posts.
If you or someone you care about was sexually abused and you would like advice from an attorney about the rights and options for victims of child sexual abuse, please contact Crew Janci LLP today for a free, confidential consultation at 1-888-407-0224 or by using our private online form. We will treat you with discretion and respect.