Female athletes at San Jose State University spoke up against Scott Shaw, their athletic trainer, over 10 years ago — he was not punished until this week.
Shaw pleaded guilty to sexual assault in court on Tuesday, and faces two years in prison.
The first complaint against Shaw came way back in 2009 by swimmer Caitlin Macky. Sixteen others reported him to the school that year, but they cleared him of any wrongdoing.
“It’s a little bit maddening to go through a whole trial, and 12 years of this person vehemently denying everything, then all of a sudden he shows up and admits to that,” Macky, who testified against Shaw in the trial, via The Mercury News. “Everyone called us liars for so long.
“It does feel better that it’s out there and it’s public record.”
“To hear him plead guilty to what he’s done justifies in my mind that no, what he did was not normal, and yes, I should have trusted my gut,” added former gymnast Amy LeClair, who graduated in 2016.
Shaw worked at the school from 2006 to 2020 and contended his treatments were legitimate. He was accused of shutting down complaints in person, saying he was the expert.
Eight former athletes in five women’s sports took the witness stand during the trial, according to USA Today. The case resulted in a mistrial earlier this month.
Athletes said Shaw touched and rubbed their breasts, buttocks and groins. Thirty women have come forward, and the school has awarded them a combined $7 million.
The case was reopened in 2019, and an outside law firm concluded Shaw violated the school’s sexual harassment policy and that the school itself violated Title IX by failing to respond to the initial claims.
“Those who were harmed by the actions of Scott Shaw shouldered a burden for years and patiently waited for their day in court,” the university said in a statement Tuesday. “We hope they feel some vindication in this result. The university is committed to preventing sexual misconduct and will be vigilant in protecting our campus community.”
Shaw will be sentenced Nov. 14. Impact statements are expected to be read there by victims.