Suit: HS Staff Failed to Respond to Sexual Misconduct

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Complaints that an assistant water polo and swim coach at Kennedy High School in La Palma, Calif., was sexually abusing student-athletes were not taken seriously or swept under the rug in short order, according to the The Orange County Register.

A Buena Park Police Department police report — as well as emails, letters and reports by Kennedy coaches, teachers and administrators — obtained by the paper show that even when confronted with accounts of Joshua Owens’ sexual misconduct with female athletes, some as young as 14, Kennedy employees repeatedly failed to report Owens to law enforcement or Child Protective Services as required by California law.

Owens was cleared by a 2015 investigation by a Kennedy athletic director that was completed in less than 24 hours after teacher Ian Sabala received the email from a former water polo athlete telling Sabala that team members at the time had told her Owens was "trying to get at one of the freshman players."

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