Former San Jose State University Director of Sports Medicine, Scott Shaw, has been sentenced to 24 months in prison for unlawfully touching female student-athletes under the guise of providing medical treatment. The sentence, handed down by United States District Judge Beth Labson Freeman, sends a clear message that those in positions of authority who sexually abuse and harass students will face serious consequences. Shaw, who was entrusted with caring for athletes in the California State University system, instead violated their civil rights by sexually groping them without their consent. This case highlights the importance of holding public school officials accountable for their actions and ensuring the safety and well-being of student-athletes.
The former San Jose State University (SJSU) Director of Sports Medicine, Scott Shaw, has been sentenced for groping female student athletes. This case sheds light on the importance of protecting student athletes and sending a message of zero tolerance for civil rights violations.
Overview of the Case
Scott Shaw, as the Director of Sports Medicine at SJSU, unlawfully touched female student athletes under the guise of medical treatment. This behavior is a serious violation of their civil rights and is an abuse of power and trust.
Description of Scott Shaw’s Role at SJSU
Scott Shaw served as the Director of Sports Medicine and head athletic trainer at SJSU from 2008 until August 2020. As an employee of the State of California, his duties included treating injuries sustained by student athletes at SJSU.
Timeline of the Incidents
The incidents in this case occurred between 2017 and 2020. During this period, Shaw violated the civil rights of four students who played on women’s athletics teams by touching their breasts and buttocks without their consent and without a legitimate medical purpose.
Scott Shaw has been sentenced to serve 24 months in prison for his actions. The Honorable Beth Labson Freeman, United States District Judge for the Northern District of California, handed down the sentence.
Length of the Prison Sentence
Shaw’s prison sentence is set at 24 months. This sentence reflects the severity of his actions and sends a strong message that such behavior will not be tolerated.
Judge Freeman expressed the importance of holding public school officials accountable for exploiting their positions of authority to sexually abuse and harass students. This sentencing emphasizes the consequences that those who violate civil rights will face.
Importance of the Sentence
The sentencing of Scott Shaw is crucial in sending a message to public school officials and the broader public that civil rights violations will be met with serious consequences. This serves as a deterrent against future abuses of power and emphasizes the need for transparency and ethical conduct in healthcare and sports administration.
Importance of the Case
This case carries significant importance beyond the immediate implications for Scott Shaw. It highlights the message being sent to public school officials and stresses the importance of zero tolerance for civil rights violations, particularly those committed against vulnerable student athletes.
Message Sent to Public School Officials
The prosecution of Scott Shaw and his subsequent sentencing sends a strong message to public school officials that misconduct, abuse, and exploitation of students will not go unpunished. Schools must prioritize the safety and well-being of their students, and those who violate this trust will face legal consequences.
Zero Tolerance for Civil Rights Violations
The case against Scott Shaw demonstrates a zero-tolerance approach to civil rights violations. The Justice Department and the courts are committed to upholding civil rights and ensuring that individuals in positions of power and trust are held accountable for their actions.
Protecting Student Athletes
By prosecuting cases like Scott Shaw’s, the justice system reaffirms its dedication to protecting student athletes. These individuals, who often rely on their healthcare providers for treatment and guidance, should feel safe and have their rights respected throughout their athletic careers.
Scott Shaw’s Guilty Plea
Scott Shaw pleaded guilty to the charges on August 15, 2023, acknowledging his violations of the civil rights of four student athletes. His guilty plea demonstrates his acceptance of responsibility for his actions and the harm he caused.
Date of the Guilty Plea
Shaw entered his guilty plea on August 15, 2023. This plea signifies his recognition of his misconduct and a willingness to face the legal consequences.
Details of the Plea Agreement
As part of the plea agreement, Shaw admitted to touching the breasts and buttocks of female student athletes without their consent and without a legitimate medical purpose between 2017 and 2020. This admission supports the charges brought against him and strengthens the case against him.
Admission of Violating Civil Rights
Shaw’s guilty plea includes an admission that he violated the civil rights of the student athletes he touched inappropriately. This admission strengthens the case against him and reinforces the seriousness of his actions.
Duties and Responsibilities of Scott Shaw
To understand the full extent of Scott Shaw’s actions, it is crucial to examine the nature of his role as the Director of Sports Medicine at SJSU and his obligations as an employee of the State of California.
Role as Director of Sports Medicine
Scott Shaw’s primary responsibility as the Director of Sports Medicine was providing medical treatment to student athletes at SJSU. He held a position of authority and influence in their healthcare, making his actions particularly egregious.
Employee of the State of California
As an employee of the State of California, Shaw had a duty to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, and respect for civil rights. His actions were a breach of this duty and an abuse of the trust placed in him by his role.
Treatment of Student-Athlete Injuries
Shaw’s role included treating injuries sustained by student athletes. It is important to note that his inappropriate touching was entirely unrelated to any legitimate medical purpose. This misconduct is a violation of professional responsibilities and constitutes an abuse of power.
Victim Trust and Consent
The relationship between a healthcare provider and a patient relies heavily on trust and the patient’s consent. In the case of Scott Shaw, his position as an athletic trainer held significant influence over the female student-athletes involved.
Importance of Trust in the Healthcare Provider-Patient Relationship
Trust is a foundational element of any healthcare provider-patient relationship. Patients place their well-being and personal safety in the hands of their healthcare providers, relying on their expertise and professional judgment.
Female Student-Athletes Allowing Physical Contact Due to Shaw’s Status
Shaw’s position as an athletic trainer at SJSU allowed him to establish trust with the female student-athletes. Because of his status, they felt comfortable allowing physical contact during treatment sessions. Unfortunately, this trust was abused, leading to the violation of their civil rights.
Student-Athletes Seeking Treatment and Trusting Shaw
Female student-athletes sought treatment from Scott Shaw because they were in pain, seeking relief, and wanted to continue participating in SJSU Athletics. They trusted Shaw because of his experience as an athletic trainer. His actions not only violated their trust but also compromised their well-being and sense of safety.
Details of the Inappropriate Touching
The inappropriate touching by Scott Shaw involved specific body parts, lacked any legitimate medical purpose, and was performed without the consent or diagnostic justification of the student-athletes.
Specific Body Parts Touched Without Consent
Scott Shaw inappropriately touched the breasts and buttocks of the female student-athletes without their consent. These actions were a clear violation of their personal boundaries and their right to bodily autonomy.
No Legitimate Medical Purpose
Shaw’s actions had no legitimate diagnostic or treatment purpose. They were purely for his own gratification and were not medically necessary or justified in any way. This further exemplifies the abuse of power and trust embedded in his role.
Absence of Consent or Diagnostic Justification
None of the student-athletes involved in this case provided consent for Scott Shaw to touch them in such a manner. Additionally, there was no diagnostic justification for his actions. This absence of consent and legitimate medical purpose strengthens the evidence against him.
Guilty Plea Charges
Scott Shaw pleaded guilty to two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 242. These charges represent his violation of the civil rights of the student-athletes he unlawfully touched.
Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law Charges
The charges brought against Shaw of deprivation of rights under the color of law signify that he abused his authority as a representative of the State of California, infringing upon the civil rights of the student-athletes he was meant to protect.
Violation of 18 U.S.C. 242
Scott Shaw’s guilty plea also acknowledges his violation of 18 U.S.C. 242, which prohibits the deprivation of rights under color of law. This federal statute exists to protect individuals from the abuse of power by government officials or employees.
Two Counts of Guilty Plea
Scott Shaw pleaded guilty to two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law. This pleading establishes his culpability and allows for appropriate legal consequences to be imposed.
In addition to his prison sentence, Scott Shaw will be subject to a supervised release period, imposed fines, and a restitution hearing.
Supervised Release Period
Following his prison term, Shaw will serve one year of supervised release. This period will require him to fulfill certain obligations and adhere to specific conditions, monitored by the relevant authorities.
Scott Shaw has been ordered to pay a $15,000 fine. The imposition of this fine ensures that he faces financial consequences for his actions, further holding him accountable for his misconduct.
A hearing is scheduled to take place on February 6, 2024, to address issues related to restitution. This hearing will provide an opportunity for the affected student-athletes to seek compensation for the harm they have suffered.
Conclusion and Prosecution
The prosecution of Scott Shaw involved multiple individuals committed to upholding justice and protecting civil rights.
Individuals Involved in Prosecuting the Case
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Pitman, Trial Attorney MarLa Duncan, and Attorney Advisor Sarah Howard from the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section worked together to prosecute the case against Shaw. Their commitment to seeking justice and holding Shaw accountable for his actions demonstrates the dedication of those involved in the legal process.
The case against Scott Shaw was thoroughly investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI’s involvement ensures that all necessary evidence is gathered and presented, leading to a comprehensive prosecution.
Commitment to Prosecuting Civil Rights Violations
The prosecution of Scott Shaw showcases the commitment of the justice system to prosecuting civil rights violations. This dedication extends not only to healthcare professionals but also to any individual in a position of power and trust. It is crucial that those who violate civil rights face legal consequences to protect the well-being and safety of vulnerable individuals.
In conclusion, the sentencing of former San Jose State University Director of Sports Medicine Scott Shaw for groping female student athletes highlights the importance of protecting student athletes, upholding civil rights, and maintaining trust in healthcare provider-patient relationships. The case sends a clear message to public school officials that misconduct and abuses of power will not be tolerated. It also reinforces the commitment of the justice system to prosecuting civil rights violations and holding individuals accountable for their actions.