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Systemic harassment and sexual abuse of National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) players has been revealed in a report of an independent investigation conducted by a former acting U.S. Attorney General.
The recently released report was based on more than 200 interviews. It focused not only the individual perpetrators who took advantage of their influence and power, but also the teams and organizations that enabled the egregious misconduct. Among the findings was that the NWSL under the US Soccer Federation (USSF) failed to provide a safe environment for players.
“Our investigation has revealed a league (NWSL) in which abuse and misconduct—verbal and emotional abuse and sexual misconduct—had become systemic, spanning multiple teams, coaches, and victims,” the report reads. “Abuse in the NWSL is rooted in a deeper culture in women’s soccer, beginning in youth leagues, that normalizes verbally abusive coaching and blurs boundaries between coaches and players.”
“In well over 200 interviews, we heard report after report of relentless, degrading tirades; manipulation that was about power, not improving performance; and retaliation against those who attempted to come forward,” the report states. “Even more disturbing were the stories of sexual misconduct. Players described a pattern of sexually charged comments, unwanted sexual advances and sexual touching, and coercive sexual intercourse.”
The report noted that abusive coaches were able to move from team to team despite concerning accusations against them because the league and the federation feared the organizations could be named in any potential defamation or employment lawsuits. The independent investigation was initiated by the US Soccer Federation.
You Deserve to Know and Need to Protect Your Rights
Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC (JJS) is a national law firm law firm with a department dedicated exclusively to representing survivors of sexual abuse. We pride ourselves on compassionately and tenaciously working for our clients and producing unprecedented recoveries. But we never lose sight of the fact that these cases are not just about the money, they are equally about holding predators and the institutions that enabled them accountable and helping to bring about the peace of mind survivors deserve.
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We offer a free consultation, and if you retain us you’ll never have to pay attorneys’ fees or case costs unless your case is won.
Recoveries in High Profile Sexual Abuse Cases
Sexual abuse is life altering and causes emotional and psychological trauma. Sexual abuse can result in costly medical bills, mental health conditions and the inability to work. If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, the compensation you may be entitled to includes:
- $842.4 million in a sexual abuse case against the University of Southern California. Individual claims resolved for an average award of $1.2 million per client. This is the largest settlement in a sexual abuse case in U.S. history and the largest award against a university. This was a settlement achieved by the efforts of multiple firms. JJS represented the second largest group of clients, 139 out of 702.
- $243.6 million in a sexual abuse case against University of California, Los Angeles. This was a settlement that resulted from the efforts of multiple firms. JJS represented dozens of the 203 plaintiffs.
- $190 million in a sexual abuse class action case against Johns Hopkins Hospital. JJS served as co-lead counsel. For his efforts in this litigation, Howard Janet was named as Lawyer of the Year by the Maryland Association for Justice.
- Confidential 7-figure settlement on behalf of “Victim 6” against Penn State University for conduct of former coach Jerry Sandusky.
All told, we have represented thousands of survivors of sexual abuse in high profile and under-the-radar cases and recovered over $1 billion on their behalf. Our cases arise from abuse in a wide range of settings, including educational, sports, religious, foster care, and employment, among others.
Meet the Leaders of the JJS Sexual Abuse Division
Our sexual abuse lawyers include, among others:
Andrew S. Janet is co-chair of JJS’s sexual abuse division. Andrew led the firm’s efforts in the USC litigation which produced the largest known settlement in a sexual abuse case in U.S. history. Andrew also led the firm’s efforts on behalf of multiple survivors in the sexual abuse settlement against UCLA. Currently, he is leading JJS’s representation in sexual abuse cases against religious organizations, school systems, private foster care providers and others.
Brenda A. Harkavy is a former high level criminal sexual abuse prosecutor. Her reputation as a bulldog in the courtroom was earned through achieving numerous guilty verdicts in some of the toughest cases of child sex abuse, adult sexual offence, child pornography, and intimate partner violence. Brenda is currently focused on sexual abuse cases involving religious organizations and a range of other entities.
Patrick Thronson has represented and continues to represent survivors of clergy sexual abuse and human trafficking, as well as hundreds of women who were sexually abused by an OBGYN who obtained a medical license under false pretenses.
Howard A. Janet is a compassionate advocate for sexual abuse survivors who has won historic recoveries in multiple jurisdictions throughout the U.S. He is consistently recognized for his competence and ethics by Best Lawyers in America® and other highly respected attorney peer review organizations.
Any information you share with us is always confidential to the extent permissible by law.
"The public used to accept, or at least not discuss, sexual assault by people in positions of power and the institutional practice of turning a blind eye to it. But now that scandal after scandal has come to light ... the public has accepted that this is a widespread problem that needs to be addressed, and that the victims deserve compensation for what they have endured."
- Andrew S. Janet, Partner—Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC