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Baltimore, MD – The U.S. Department of Justice dropped a bombshell on Monday, March 18, 2024, revealing disturbing details about the actions of Chad Cradock, the former head coach of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s swimming and diving team, who passed away in 2021.

Allegations of Years of Sexual Abuse Unveiled

In a letter addressed to UMBC President Valerie Sheares Ashby, the Justice Department disclosed that Cradock engaged in sexual misconduct with members of the men’s team, commencing in 2015. The accusations include inappropriate physical contact, such as kissing male team members on their necks, hugging them from behind, and touching their bare stomachs in a sexually suggestive manner.

Disturbing Behavior Towards Women’s Team

Under Cradock’s leadership from 2016 to 2020, female members of the team were reportedly subjected to harassment, stalking, and even “dating violence” by their male counterparts. Shockingly, instead of promptly reporting these incidents to the school’s Title IX Office, Cradock opted to maintain control over the situation and the students involved.

University’s Failure to Report Sexual Abuse Exposed

The investigation further revealed that certain senior UMBC administrators and athletic department members were aware of Cradock’s misconduct but failed to take any action. The Justice Department’s findings painted a grim picture of a pervasive hostile environment within the Athletics Department that impacted numerous student-athletes over an extended period.

UMBC’s Response and Accountability

In response to the damning report, President Sheares Ashby expressed deep regret over the university’s failure to address the situation during the specified timeframe. She emphasized a commitment to rectifying past mistakes and rebuilding trust within the community. An agreement with the DOJ outlining measures to combat sexual misconduct is forthcoming.

Swim Coach Accused of Sexual Abuse & Control

Cradock, known as “Mr. UMBC,” had a long-standing association with the university before his untimely death in 2021. His influence extended beyond coaching, with reports indicating close ties to senior administration that allegedly shielded him from accountability.

The DOJ report highlighted a culture of fear perpetuated by Cradock, where student-athletes felt powerless to speak out against his advances due to his perceived connections within the university hierarchy. Instances of intimidation and manipulation were cited as tactics used to maintain control over team members.

Urgent Reforms Underway Following Investigation

UMBC has initiated immediate steps towards reform, including mandatory Title IX training for students and comprehensive reviews of existing policies. The university is committed to fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all its members moving forward.

The revelations surrounding Chad Cradock’s actions have sent shockwaves through UMBC and underscore the critical need for vigilance against abuse in collegiate sports programs.

Legal Options for Students Abused by a Coach

In response to the damning report on UMBC’s failure to protect its students from ongoing sexual abuse, we sat down with Maryland sex abuse lawyer Aaron Blank, Esq. It is important to address the legal options available to students who have been subjected to sexual abuse by a coach or other employee at a university. Discover the potential for civil cases and the determination of liability as we address this important topic. Gain valuable insights from Aaron Blank, an experienced attorney dedicated to supporting survivors and seeking justice.

Laurence Banville, Esq. (LB): Aaron, thank you for joining us.

Aaron Blank, Esq. (AB): Thank you for having me, Laurence. It’s important to address this topic.

LB: Absolutely. When students have been subjected to sexual abuse by a coach, what legal recourse do they have in terms of filing a civil case?

AB: Students who have experienced sexual abuse by a coach may have grounds to pursue a civil case against the liable parties involved. This can include the coach, the educational institution, and potentially others who failed to respond to the abuse adequately.

LB: That’s crucial information. In such cases, what factors are considered when determining liability?

AB: Determining liability depends on various factors, including whether the responsible parties were aware or reasonably should have been aware of the abuse, whether they took appropriate action to prevent or stop it, and whether they failed to provide a safe environment for the students.

LB: Understandably, seeking justice is a complex process. What steps should students take if they believe they have a civil case against the liable parties?

AB: It is vital that students consult with an experienced sexual abuse attorney who specializes in these cases. They can guide them through the legal process, provide support, and help gather evidence to build a strong case. It’s also important to document any incidents, preserve any relevant communication or records, and report the abuse to the appropriate authorities.

LB: Thank you for emphasizing the importance of seeking legal expertise. Could you briefly touch on the potential outcomes of a successful civil case for the survivors?

AB: A successful civil case can result in various outcomes, including financial compensation to help survivors with the healing process, holding the responsible parties accountable, and creating awareness of the issue to prevent similar incidents in the future. Each case is unique, so it’s crucial to work closely with an attorney to understand the specific possibilities.

LB: Thank you, Aaron, for sharing your knowledge for those who may be seeking justice after experiencing such abuse.

AB: It was my pleasure, Laurence. I hope this conversation provides some guidance for those who have been affected by such abuse and encourages them to take the necessary steps towards seeking justice.

Seeking Legal Guidance: Reach Out for a Free Consultation

As survivors of college sex abuse navigate the challenging path to justice and healing, it is important to remember that support and legal guidance are within reach. Victims and their families are encouraged to contact us for a free consultation with our experienced legal team. Your story matters, and we are here to help you understand your rights, explore your options, and advocate for the justice you deserve. Together, we can work towards a brighter future where accountability and healing prevail.


DOJ investigation finds deceased UMBC swimming and diving coach abused students on team

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