Former SJSU athletic coach pleads not guilty to sexual misconduct

SAN JOSE — More than a dozen swimmers from San Jose State University have waited 13 years for this day. Scattered across the country, some of them watched on Zoom on Tuesday as the athletic trainer they accused of sexually assaulting them during sports massages appeared in a federal courtroom to face a criminal complaint, which university officials first apologized for and then ignored for more than a decade.

But coach Scott Shaw did not appear in person at the San Jose courtroom on Tuesday. Instead, he, too, called Zoom — from Austin, Texas, in the middle of an RV trip with his significant other to Boston to compete in the college hockey championship known as the Frozen Four.

Wearing a dark suit and tie, he pleaded not guilty to six counts of federal civil rights violations for committing sexual misconduct with female students under the guise of treating injuries, and agreed to post bail of $10,000 – Dollars to deposit. If convicted, he faces a maximum of six years in prison. But most of Tuesday’s hearing was taken up with the terms of his release and his request to continue his furlough.

“He has a pre-paid, pre-arranged trip to Boston, Massachusetts to attend the Frozen Four,” one of his two attorneys, Sam Polverino, told U.S. District Judge Susan van Keulen. “I don’t know if the court is a fan of the NCAA basketball finals Four March Madness, but that’s the corollary.”

With the approval of Assistant US Attorney Michael Pitman, van Keulen agreed to allow the trip. Shaw has until April 20 to return to his home in western Washington state.

Sage Hopkins, the women’s swimming coach, appeared in person at the San Jose courthouse on Tuesday. He was left to watch the virtual trial on his phone in a corridor outside the courtroom.

“I didn’t think that day would ever come,” said Hopkins, who had spent years campaigning against executives in the athletic department to take action against Shaw and ratted out the university’s handling of the case. “There were just so many, so many roadblocks along the way.”

Hopkins shook his head but declined to comment on the court’s approval of Shaw’s overland trip, saying instead he preferred “to keep the spotlight on the bravery and courage of these women and to be sure that their voices are finally being heard.” will”.

Shaw spoke only to thank the judge at the end of the hearing and agree to the terms of his release.

Pitman, the federal prosecutor, said he plans to call more than 20 victims during a trial.

“The government expects that the evidence in this case will show that the defendant engaged in a more than decade-long scheme through which he used his position as an athletic coach at San Jose State University to gain access to female students of the.” school and to sexually assault her,” Pitman told the judge. “This is long-term criminal behavior. There are multiple victims, and in this case there are real victims who suffered personal injuries.”

Shaw is accused of injuring four different women between 2017 and 2020, two of them twice. However, the US Department of Justice has counted 23 casualties in Shaw’s more than 10-year tenure in San Jose state. The statute of limitations likely played a role in the charges, which only involved cases in the last five years.

The case dates back to 2009, when Hopkins first brought forward the allegations of 17 swimmers who complained that Shaw had inappropriately touched them under their bras and underwear. They were so uncomfortable that they insisted on going to another coach. In 2010, in an internal investigation now believed to be deeply flawed, the University acquitted Shaw, finding his so-called “trigger point therapy” was a legitimate form of treatment.

Despite Hopkins’ efforts to keep Shaw away from his swimmers and other female athletes, the coach was allowed to treat female athletes largely unhindered for the next decade.

Mary Papazian, president of San Jose State University, and Marie Tuite, athletic director, resigned from their posts last year as the scandal unfolded.

Shaw’s attorneys and prosecutors will be back in court for a procedural hearing on March 23, but Shaw will not be there. The Frozen Four opens April 7th at TD Garden in Boston.

Hopkins had one comment on Shaw’s stint: “I don’t think he should be around student athletes.” Former SJSU athletic coach pleads not guilty to sexual misconduct

Joel McCord

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