Woman who says coach raped her at age 16 will get $7.5M

Posted at 2:48 PM, Feb 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-06 15:48:26-05

SEATTLE (AP) — A woman has received $7.5 million from the Olympia-based Blackhills Football Club to settle a lawsuit that alleged she was raped by her soccer coach in an Oregon hotel room when she was 16.

Darrell Cochran, who represented the woman along with attorney Kevin Hastings, said the settlement is believed to be one of the largest ever paid to a sexual abuse victim in the state, The Seattle Times reported.

The woman, now 33, said she hopes her story will help other sexual assault victims come forward and will help parents learn the signs that their child is being groomed and abused. She said shame kept her from telling anyone until years later.

Attorneys for Blackhills did not return messages from the newspaper seeking comment.

The woman’s settlement is the fourth reached with Blackhills over sexual assault allegations since February 2019, Cochran said.

When the woman filed her lawsuit in 2018, the alleged 2005 rape was reported to police in Grants Pass, Oregon, where it allegedly occurred, but no criminal charges have been filed, according to Cochran. He acknowledged the difficulty of investigating a sexual assault so many years later.

The man accused, who previously worked at schools in Madras, Oregon, Chehalis and Federal Way, and quit his job with the Tacoma School District after being put on administrative leave, denied he raped Cochran’s client in a 2020 deposition.