What to Do if You’re a Coach and Are Accused of Molesting a Player

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jul 19, 2023 | 0 Comments

It's a nightmare scenario for coaches everywhere – they devote vast amounts of time to helping their young athletes improve their athletic skills, learn how to compete and make themselves better players. Then one day, out of the blue, a notice is served saying that the coach has been reported for suspected child abuse. What's more, the reported abuse is sexual in nature.

To be clear, the mere report of suspected abuse is an extremely serious charge that can disrupt, if not destroy, the coach's life. The media will often pre-judge the situation, and the fact that so many abuse cases have been hidden in the past means that new ones often receive significantly more attention. On top of this, news is no longer a local thing – anyone, anywhere, has access to news sources everywhere in the US. A small-town news blog is just as easy to read as the New York Times.

This creates a frightening situation for anyone who is accused of sexual abuse. When that person is a coach – whether a volunteer coach of a local grade-school league or a paid coach working for a high school or club sports team – the mere suggestion that they have abused one of their players can mean losing their coaching positions as well as their friends and families, and cloud their future for years to come.

Abuse By a Coach is Statistically Rare

Pennsylvania's Department of Human Services carefully analyzes the reports it receives of potential child abuse each year and creates an annual report that explores the claims that were made and substantiated, as well as the type of person responsible for the substantiated abuse.

In 2021, for example, out of 38,013 reports of suspected child abuse, 5,036 were deemed “substantiated.” And of the substantiated reports, about 7.4% were committed by “unrelated/other,” which would include athletic coaches. This translates to 0.9% of all reported abuse cases being both substantiated and attributable to an “unrelated/other” person, which could include coaches as well as other types of “unrelated/other” people. In other words, the statistical chance that a coach has actually abused a child is very, very small.

Defending Yourself Against Abuse Allegations

Despite the statistical improbability of a coach actually abusing a player, if you've been accused of suspected molestation or other abuse, you need help both defending yourself against any publicity surrounding the allegation as well as help to protect your rights during the investigation of the allegations. In particular, you need an attorney who has experience with child abuse claims and knows how to respond effectively to press questions and news reports about those allegations. This is not a situation you want to take on by yourself. It's simply too volatile, and as the accused individual, you need a credible and effective spokesperson who can also help you protect your rights.

Our Criminal Law Team and the LLF Law Firm Can Help

Our Criminal Law Team has spent years defending Pennsylvanians suspected and accused of a wide range of crimes, including child abuse. The LLF Law Firm Criminal Defense Team has a deep understanding of the laws in Pennsylvania that relate to child abuse, and we know how to make sure your rights are respected during an investigation as well as in any court proceedings that may follow. We are aggressive but fair and will ensure that you receive the best defense possible.

You don't want to face this kind of terrible situation alone. If you have been accused of child abuse, call our Criminal Law Team today at 888.535.3686, or click this link to schedule a confidential consultation with the LLF Law Firm Criminal Defense Team. We understand how upsetting this is for you and are ready to listen and help.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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