Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports

Sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted adult can have devastating, life-long impacts on the victim. Parents trust organizations that offer sports, camping, and other youth programs to provide a safe and caring environment for their children.

It is up to these organizations to create a safe environment for children, and it is essential that they adopt the right policies, procedures, and screenings to protect vulnerable persons in their care. According to the CDC, the prevention of child sexual abuse in youth organizations starts with the screening, selection, and training of employees and volunteers. It continues with guidelines on interactions between individuals, monitoring contact with children, and responding to inappropriate behavior.

When youth service organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, the YMCA/YWCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, youth sports leagues (Little League, AYSO, Pop Warner, USA Swimming, CYO, etc), and youth camps fail in their duties to adequately protect kids, civil litigation can help provide healing, closure and justice for the victims, and necessary changes to the organizations to protect children today.

If you or someone you love has been sexually victimized while in a youth program, contact Crew Janci LLP today so that together we may help you and your family seek justice and ensure that this kind of abuse does not happen again.

Youth Sports Leagues

Youth sports leagues (such as Little League, AYSO soccer, Pop Warner football, USA Swimming, CYO, martial arts, etc.) play an important role in many children’s lives. Young athletes spend significant amounts of time with coaches and team volunteers – both on and off the playing field (traveling to tournaments, attending training camps, etc.). Between practice, team-building events, and overnight trips, the adults involved in youth sports spend a significant amount of time alone with children. Coaches, in particular, build a great degree of trust with a child, and coaches can utilize their authority and influence to take advantage of those in their care. Further, the “team mentality” that coaches strive to instill in their players can result in a victim’s increased inability to come forward for fear of shame, stigma, retaliation or repercussions from teammates.

When coaches and adult volunteers are honest, caring, and only seek to help kids grow, youth sports programs can be a big benefit to children. However, when youth sports leagues fail to take adequate steps to prevent predators from accessing children, an otherwise happy and healthy sports program can turn into a harmful and abusive nightmare for the kids involved. The attorneys at Crew Janci LLP have extensive experience handling child sexual abuse cases. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse committed by a coach or other adult volunteer in a youth sports league, contact our office today to discuss your legal rights and secure the help you need.


Residential summer camps (“sleep away camps”) and day camps are responsible for providing a safe and fun, focused learning environment for the children enrolled in their program. It is the camp’s responsibility to train and properly supervise all of its camp counselors, staff, employees, and volunteers. These camps are required to exercise reasonable care in selecting, hiring, and supervising camp staff and volunteers in order to prevent harm to children, including sexual abuse by a camp staff member or volunteer. It is also well-known that failing to properly supervise youth campers can result in peer-on-peer sexual abuse (i.e., a child being sexually abused or assaulted by another camper).

When sleepaway or day camps do not fulfill their duties of supervising and caring for the children under their charge and a child is abused, the camp is liable for the resulting harm. Our attorneys here at Crew Janci LLP represent victims who were sexually abused in sleepaway camps, day camps, and specialty camp programs nationwide (including Christian camps and other religious camping programs). Crew Janci holds these institutions accountable when they fail to protect children in their care. We aim to obtain justice and healing for the victims by forcing camps to adopt changes that make today’s campers safer.

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In 2010, attorneys from Crew Janci LLP were part of the Plaintiff’s trial team in the landmark case of Kerry Lewis v. Boy Scouts of America, which involved claims for sexual abuse by a Scoutmaster in a Portland, Oregon, Scout Troop operated through a local Mormon (LDS) church. The trial lasted six weeks and garnered international press coverage, ultimately resulting in a jury award for the victim of compensatory and punitive damages which totaled $19 Million.

The centerpiece of the Kerry Lewis trial was BSA’s now infamous secret files on pedophiles in Scouting – known as the “Perversion Files” or “IV Files” (now publicly available through our website). The Secret Files were introduced into evidence at trial and, for the first time ever, made public. Since then, we have created and maintained a database of these files our website.

We continue to represented victims abused in Scouting across the country and abroad. If you or someone you love has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse in Scouting, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred, contact the experienced attorneys at Crew Janci LLP today to determine your options.

More on Sports / Camps Abuse


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