A former volleyball player at the University of Hartford has filed a lawsuit alleging that her coach was verbally abusive and sexually harassed her.
According to the Hartford Courant, Kathryn Capua filed the lawsuit in District Court in Texas, where she currently resides, and is seeking more than $1 million, claiming that the coach’s behavior led her to develop an eating disorder and ultimately drop out of school.
Capua was recruited to Hartford by the school’s head volleyball coach Vinh Nguyen, who she reportedly knew from earlier volleyball experience she had as a high school student. Nguyen offered Capua a scholarship, which Capua accepted.
The suit alleges that during her time playing for Nguyen at UHart, the coach would berate and belittle her in front of other players, driving her to the verge of tears. The suit claims that Nguyen would also make sexually suggestive comments to Capua off the court, commenting on her body and asking whether she found him attractive.
Nguyen’s alleged behavior led Capua to develop an eating disorder.
“After (Nguyen) made numerous comments during the fall semester about how good Kathryn looked to him, she no longer wanted her body to have a muscular framework,” the suit says.
Capua reportedly lost 24 pounds during her first semester at the school, and was diagnosed with an eating disorder by two different medical professionals. She did not return to UHart for the spring semester.
The suit claims that Capua’s parents spoke to university attorney’s regarding Nguyen, but never heard back.
A university spokesperson told the Courant that the university would not comment on an ongoing legal issue.