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STEVE CRANE JR is the Attorney that gets you justice for sexual abuse IN YOUTH SPORTS.

Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports


Children are taught at young ages to trust the coach, an adult in a position of authority. The right coach can change a child’s life—teaching and modeling sportsmanship, competition and teamwork. The wrong coach can scar a child for life. Unfortunately, a growing number of sexual predators are using sports to gain access to children. Even though sexual assault, abuse and harassment happens in sports at all ages, including college, the majority take place in a youth setting. The reality is that pedophiles are often drawn to settings that bring them into contact with potential targets. The nurturing environment intended to build confidence, self-esteem and foster personal growth sadly can also open the doors for sexually abusive behaviors.

Beyond touching and direct physical contact, abuse in youth sports comes in many ways, included but not limited to sexual exposure, nude photography, offensive sexual jokes, intimidation, threats, and unsuccessful sexual advances. If you or your child has been a victim of sexual abuse in youth sports, Steve Crane has the experience and expertise to help you.

Steve Crane and his team are deeply committed and driven to help survivors recover whatever has been taken from them together with recovery for what they have suffered and lost as a result of sexual abuse and assaultive acts by another in their childhood or as an adult.

Steve is relentless in his pursuit of being the survivor’s champion. Why? What lit this intense fire in him?

Early in his life, Steve witnessed pre-teens and teens being bullied, hazed and attacked by other pre-teens and teens. The perpetrators attacked because they could. They had power and dominance, while the victims did not. For each attack, Steve stepped in and stopped it. Steve has always remained vigilant, highly insightful, compassionate, approachable, tolerant, and understanding the pain endured by others.

Steve is personally and professionally driven to help victims of past and present sex abuse, bullying, hazing and physical assaults to find safety, to recover and put their lives back together. He is truly a comforting light – assuring protection, and safety in addition to winning the financial compensation his clients deserve for their pain and loss.

If you are a victim or survivor of sexual abuse, you should contact experienced and respected attorney Steve Crane. He and his team can assess the facts of your case and help you in a trusted, private and secure manner determine the best course of action to move forward.

To schedule a discrete and confidential consultation about your matter, email or call us at (833) 855-4400.

Sexual Abuse is Happening to Athletes

In recent years sexual abuse and assault charges have been successfully brought against coaches, adults in position of authority, or those who turned a blind eye. Dr. Robert E. Anderson, of the University of Michigan, was forced out of his position in 1979 “fooling around with male students” in exam rooms yet went on to be a “trusted” physician for the University of Michigan football team until his retirement in 2003. Jerry Sandusky was a widely respected assistant football coach at Penn State. For more three decades, he was the go-to assistant of legendary head coach Joe Paterno. Sandusky used his position to prey “typically boys without a father living at home, when they were 8–12 years old.” The Ohio State University team doctor Dr. Richard Straus sexually abused at least 177 male students from 1979 to 1996. School officials were aware of numerous reports of Strauss’s misconduct over the 17-year period. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert admitted to sexually abusing teenage boys during his time as a high school wrestling coach in a Chicago suburb before his career as an elected official.

Coaches have been accused of winning the trust of children and then pumping up — or threatening to undermine — dreams of college scholarships or Olympic glory. Many children came from poor backgrounds; many lacked a parent.

What Can Be Done About Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports?

Report it to the school. Filing a formal complaint places the onus to rectify the situation on the school or organization. Individual administrators, the school, and the school district must all follow standard protocol to investigate the claim, remove the child from danger, and place sanctions on abusers. If the school, school district, and sports organization fail to take action, these parties can be held liable in civil court.

Contact the police! If the abuse was physical and you wish to get a forensic medical examination done, you can ask to speak with a police officer directly from the hospital. Should you wish to pursue legal action, the police can forward your case to the County Prosecutor’s office. If there is enough evidence to convict the individual perpetrator “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the County Prosecutor will likely press criminal charges, resulting in arrest, possible prison time, fines paid to the state, probation, and registration as a sex offender.

Contact Steve Crane! In addition to helping to press the criminal charges, he will help in the psychological and emotional recovery. He will seek financial redress for the harm suffered. Victims of child sexual abuse may suffer losses in productivity, as well as enjoyment in life. Filing a civil lawsuit against those who were, directly and indirectly, responsible for the abuse holds these parties accountable and works to provide victims with the financial security needed to get the help they deserve.

When possible, Steve Will filed your case as “Jane or John Doe.” This can keep your identity private, while still allowing you to pursue the deserved justice.

Contact Steve Crane and Crane Law now and be assured he and his team will discreetly and in full confidence discuss your case.

To schedule a discrete and confidential consultation about your matter, email or call us at (833) 855-4400 today.

Child-On-Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports

Overall, in youth sports, it is believed a third of sex abusers are under the age of 18. Electronic communication open the doors to abuse from fellow athletes. Sexual abuse-related hazing and bullying tend to be rampant at the college level and, again, committed by teammates. When child-on-child sexual abuse occurs, both parties require therapeutic intervention.

In Michigan, youth under the age of 17 are considered juveniles. Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently signed into law a bill that will allow 17-year-olds to be considered minors when arrested. However, the new law simply prevents all 17-year-olds from being automatically sent to adult court. Michigan law will still provide for minors as young as 14 to be tried for crimes as an adult. Many factors are considered before sending a minor to the adult court system. These include whether the crime would be considered a felony had an adult committed it, the criminal record of the child, and the psychological history of the suspected offender. Still, minors ages 14-17 can be arrested and brought to delinquency court to determine if custody of the child should be remanded to the state juvenile facility or foster care.

A juvenile can be on probation until the age of 19 (21 in certain very serious circumstances), depending on the severity of the crime. Minors over age 14 can also be brought up on felony charges as an adult, facing prison time, fines of up to $10,000, and sex offender registration depending on the crime.

Sexual Abuse of Athletes Happens at Every Level of Sports

Over the last decade, there have been hundreds of sexual abuse and assault charges levied against coaches at every level of sports. Jerry Sandusky was a college coach. Larry Nassar worked with Olympians. Ernest Lorch ran NYC’s Riverside Church youth basketball program. Normandie Burgos was convicted of 60 counts of molestation against teen tennis players. In short, the risk of sexual abuse by coaches and coaching staff extends to:

  • Olympians
  • Professional athletes
  • College athletes
  • High school athletes
  • Middle school athletes
  • Youth sports leagues


Why Athletes are Susceptible to Sexual Abuse, Assault, & Harassment

Coaches, like teachers and parents, wield tremendous influence on their athletes. Not only do they spend hours with them, but once an athlete reaches high school, those coaches may tell them what to wear, what to eat, and how to conduct themselves off the field. Even at junior and pee-wee levels, coaches are authority figures, and parents instruct their children to trust in, and listen to, whatever they say.

This makes athletes susceptible to grooming, “a preparatory process in which a perpetrator gradually gains a person’s or organization’s trust with the intent to be sexually abusive. The victim is usually a child, teen, or vulnerable adult.” Sexual predators at every level purposely form a deep bond with these athletes, and then take advantage of that bond by shaming them into silence, so they do not report to their parents, school, or organization. Add this to the belief that reporting the abuse could lead to the detriment – or disbanding – of the team, and athletes may be more likely to say nothing.

Athletes May Not Know the Law that Protect Them

There are many state and federal laws in place to prosecute sexual abusers, and to protect victims and survivors of that abuse. These laws may apply to all people (such as 42 U.S. Code § 1983, for civil rights violations) or just to students (such as mandated reporter laws). There are two specific federal laws that apply to athletes:

  • Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act: AKA, the “Safe Sport Act,” was signed into law in 2018. It is enacted in response to the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal, allegations made against personnel involved with USA Swimming and USA Taekwondo, and following Senate hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee on issues of athlete safety. It requires that youth organizations report any allegations of sexual assault or abuse to law enforcement within 24 hours. If a civil suit sides with the plaintiff, the offender must pay a minimum of $150,000 in fines to the abuse victim.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972: Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex. This includes sexual abuse, sexual harassment or sexual assault. If a school takes federal funding, it is subject to the regulations of Title IX.

These laws are a good start, but they are not nearly enough. For example, private schools that do not take federal funding are not subject to Title IX claims, and new regulations have made it even more difficult for victims to report and seek justice. The Safe Sport Act grants immunity to the United States Olympic Committee for defamation claims. Unbelievably, the NCAA continues to assert that it has no legal duty to protect student athletes from sexual assault and abuse. Kenny Jacoby, USA TODAY NETWORK, “NCAA looks the other way as college athletes punished for sex offenses play on,”  (last visited Dec. 28, 2020)

Identifying the Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports

Predators often target, abuse, and silence their victims through sexual grooming, a process that involves seeking out a young athlete who may seem more vulnerable than others; developing a special friendship or relationship with that child; and making him or her feel more special than the rest. After isolation and contact occur, the pre-established bond makes it much harder for the child to report the sexual abuse, allowing the cycle to continue. The sexual abuser may also use threats, violence, secrecy, shame, guilt, and intimidation tactics to gain and maintain control over the child.

Children may not fully understand that certain adult behavior is improper, may be manipulated or misled into acceptance, or may even fear the repercussions of speaking up. As a parent, knowing what to look for is the first step in getting your child to open up to you about what’s going on.
Here are a few tips to consider when it comes to youth sports:

  • Be wary of unsupervised or unstructured youth sports clubs or organizations.
  • Try to reduce the amount of alone time a coach or volunteer has with your child.
  • Pay close attention during out-of-town trips or social events and celebrations.
  • Stay involved in your child’s life. The more involved you are, the less likely a sexual predator will target your child.


The Role of Mandated Reporters Responsible for Reporting Abuse & Neglect

The Michigan Child Protection Law requires certain people to report their suspicions of child abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services (“CPS”), which is an agency under the auspices of the Michigan Department of Human Health and Services. to increase vigilance in childcare settings to better protect youth. Under this law, just about anyone working with children is designated a “mandatory reporter.”

Mandated Reporters Include:
Physicians Licensed emergency medical care providers.
Licensed master social workers. School counselors.
Dentists. Audiologists.
Licensed bachelor’s social workers. Teachers.
Physician’s assistants. Psychologists.
Registered social service technicians. Law enforcement officers.
Registered dental hygienists. Marriage and family therapists.
Social service technicians. Members of the clergy.
Medical examiners. Licensed professional counselors.
Persons employed in a professional capacity in any office of the Friend of the Court. Regulated childcare providers.
Nurses. Social workers.
School administrators. Employees of an organization or entity that, as a result of federal funding statutes, regulations, or contracts, would be prohibited from reporting in the absence of a state mandate or court order (example: domestic violence provider).

More information found here:,5885,7-339-73971_7119_50648_44443-157836–,00.html

According to the law:

  • Those designated as “mandatory reporters” have a legal obligation to act upon known or suspected child abuse, including sexual assault, rape, grooming, prostitution, exhibitionism, pornography, severe neglect, physical abuse, and emotional maltreatment.
  • Mandatory reporters are required to document and report any abuse to the local police or sheriff’s department, county welfare department, or county juvenile probation department.
  • When a mandated reporter fails to take action, he or she may be found guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93-days in jail and a fine of $500.
  • Mandated reporters may also be sued for damages in civil court for failing in their duty to protect a child entrusted to their care.

If you or your child silently suffered sexual abuse while mandatory reporters looked the other way or attempted to cover up the abuse, contact Steve Crane and Crane Law now and be assured he and his team will discretely and in full confidence discuss your case.

To schedule a discrete and confidential consultation about your matter, email or call us at (833) 855-4400 today.

Confidentiality and Privacy when filing a sexual abuse civil lawsuit

A child is entitled to privacy under State and Federal Law. In most cases, Michigan Courts will protect your right to file as a “Jane or John Doe” and permit you to maintain anonymity and privacy while still allowing you to pursue justice. Contact Steve Crane and Crane Law now and be assured he and his team will discreetly and in full confidence discuss your case.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by speaking with Steve Crane and his team regarding your safety, good name, and legal options.

If you suspect sexual abuse or are a victim or survivor of sexual abuse, you should contact Steve. He and his team can assess the facts of your case and help you in a trusted, private, and secure manner determine the best course of action to move forward.

To schedule a discrete and confidential consultation about your matter, email or call us at (833) 855-4400 today.

The Deadline for filing a sexual abuse civil lawsuit

The “statute of limitations” is a term used by courts to describe the maximum amount of time plaintiffs can wait before bringing a lawsuit after the events they are suing over took place. This time limit is set by state law and is intended to promote fairness and keep old cases from clogging the courts. In publication of private facts cases, the statute of limitations ordinarily runs from the date of first publication of the offending facts.

The statute of limitations varies for sexual abuse (which includes criminal sexual conduct and the broom-sticking of one’s rectum) and when the victim is a minor. MCL 600.5851b(1)(3) allows children (minors) until age 28 to file a civil lawsuit, or under section MCL 600.5851b(1)(b), within three years of discovering the harm, whichever is later. See Michigan Compiled Law 600.5851b(1)(b)

MCL 600.5805(6) affords adult victims 10 years from the most recent incident of sexual abuse to bring a case against the abuser.

If you suspect sexual abuse or are a victim or survivor of sexual abuse, you should contact Steve. He and his team can assess the facts of your case and help you in a trusted, private, and secure manner determine the best course of action to move forward.

To schedule a discrete and confidential consultation about your matter, email or call us at (833) 855-4400 today.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this blog or on this website should be construed as legal advice from Crane Law PLLC or Steve Crane, Esq. Neither your receipt of information from this website nor your use of this website to contact Crane Law PLLC or Steve Crane, Esq. creates an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm or any of its lawyers. No reader of this website should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this website without seeking the appropriate legal advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s jurisdiction.