Former McAuley student’s lawsuit accuses coach of sexual abuse

A former student at a South Side all-girls Catholic school is suing her coach there, alleging the woman sexually abused her.

The lawsuit filed this week in Cook County Circuit Court also names the Catholic Bishop of Chicago and Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School as defendants.

The former student, who is not named in the suit, alleges the coach sexually abused her for four years, beginning in 2015.

“The aforementioned episodes would take place at practices, games and/or … other functions, at Mother McAuley and/or at Mother McAuley sponsored practices, game locations, and during recreational outings, which [the coach] routinely organized with minor students and their families, whom she met through Mother McAuley,” according to the lawsuit.

The student began attending Mother McAuley in 2012 and first met the coach in 2013. A year later, the coach began taking the student out for dinner and asking her to babysit her children, the student’s lawyers say. The abuse began in 2015, according to the lawsuit.

“Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School is a close-knit community where young female students should feel and be protected from sexual abuse and predators like [the coach],” the student’s attorney, Colleen Mikaitis, said in a statement. “The Defendants failed to investigate and act against [the coach], even when presented with incriminating evidence. It’s unfathomable in a case involving child sexual abuse and conflicts of interest, that school leadership and all parties involved would not provide full and complete transparency.”

The former student’s lawyers say that both the high school and the Catholic church “knew or should have known that [the coach] was sexually abusing Jane Doe, a minor child, at her residence and/or during school-sponsored activities at Mother McAuley and off the school premises.”

The lawsuit says the coach was “forced to resign” in about 2019. A spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said her office had not been contacted about the allegations.

The archdiocese does not comment on pending litigation, a spokesman for the church said Wednesday.

Neither the coach nor a representative from the high school could be reached for comment Wednesday.

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