U.S.T.A. FAILS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM PEDOPHILE COACH
The United States Tennis Association (U.S.T.A.) is named in a new lawsuit alleging that it failed to protect young tennis players from a well known Bay Area coach arrested twice for repeatedly sexually abusing minors for decades. According to The New York Times, transcripts from the 2010 trial revealed the testimony of one student, alleging sexual abuse by coach Normandie Burgos, but jurors couldn’t reach a verdict. The judge declared a mistrial.
Almost a decade later, in August 2019, Burgos’ sentencing to 255 years in prison for 60 counts of child molestation, came as a result of a former student and victim who secretly recorded the coach admitting to sexually abusing a minor. The question begs, however, where was the U.S.T.A.?
Public records show that the U.S.T.A. took no action against Burgos. Additionally, he is not listed in the database of the U.S. Center for SafeSport, an independent body created to track abusive coaches, trainers and those who have access to athletes.
In 2006, one school did fire Burgos and revoked his teaching credentials. In 2020, he was accused of abuse again. Despite this, the U.S.T.A. reportedly continued to give him travel grants, and failed to publicly condemn him. His victims say even though they reported his abuse to the U.S.T.A., nothing was done.
According to the U.S.T.A. website, such inaction is in direct conflict with its “commitment to respect and safety for every individual participating in a USTA event or program through the use of screening, education and reporting tools. The USTA expects individuals to adhere to Safe Play policies and standards, as well as all other USTA policies, procedures, and practices and applicable external laws and regulations.”
It is expected that institutions in which children learn and develop skills, offer an environment in which they are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse. Coaches are entrusted to facilitate learning and support the educational and training needs of their players. Anyone who sexually violates children has no place working in the U.S.T.A. Any organization in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen potential coaches and protect their players.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by a coach, principal, teacher or other other school employee, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.