LOS ANGELES, March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys for 18 young boys who allege that former Torrance High School head wrestling Coach Thomas Joseph Snider sexually abused them announced today they have filed suit against the Torrance Unified School District, Torrance High School Principal Karim Girgis and Dr. George Mannon, Superintendent of Schools.
The lawsuit alleges that Snider molested the victims by performing "skin checks" during which he "groped and fondled" the victims' private parts for his "sexual gratification."
The attorneys contend that the Torrance Unified School Board, Torrance High School and their administrators' responsibility for the abuse will be proven in the civil lawsuit where evidence will prove that they repeatedly failed to protect young children from Snider.
Victims attorney John Manly of Manly, Stewart & Finaldi expressed his belief that it was Torrance Unified School District 's repeated disregard for the children's safety that allowed Snider to abuse students at Torrance High School.
Manly said, "Torrance Unified School District (TUSD) will be held accountable in civil lawsuits where juries will hear that its administrators ignored allegations that Snider had sexually abused students, failed to inform law enforcement authorities and allowed Snider to remain in his coaching position which he used to victimize other children. TUSD will be asked to compensate Snider's victims for their suffering."
Victims' attorney Ronald Labriola of The Senators (Ret.) Firm said," This case presents additional examples of a disturbing tendency by public school administrators in Los Angeles to ignore allegations of abuse and protect perpetrators at the expense of children. It is now up to the courts to provide justice to the victims."
Victims' attorneys filed lawsuits against TUSD on behalf of two other victims of Snider last week, bringing the total to 20 cases. Claim forms are pending in two other cases which will bring the total to 22.
Thomas Joseph Snider was charged with 33 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child according to a news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. He pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
Snider was accused of lewd acts on more than two-dozen student-athletes on his team ranging between the ages of 13 and 16 years old between September 2013 and February 2015. Most of the lewd acts were alleged to have taken place on school grounds, the DA's office said.
Civil lawsuits filed by the victims of sexual abuse in Los Angeles County schools have resulted in numerous multi-million dollar verdicts. In 2014, Manly, Stewart and Finaldi and the Senators (Ret.) Firm settled a $139 million sex abuse case against the Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest settlement of its type in US history.
SOURCE Manly, Stewart & Finaldi