SEATTLE, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees of the Seattle Impact FC professional soccer team have sued the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) for sexual assault, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination. The lawsuit alleges that team owner Dion Earl, also a named defendant, sexually assaulted two members of the "Ladies with Impact" dance team and then fired employees after his conduct was exposed.
According to the lawsuit, the MASL knew that Earl posed a danger to young women when it gave him a team. The suit indicates that Earl is listed in a published database of "Coaches Who Prey," stemming from an incident involving an underage cheerleader, and that Earl's lengthy legal history shows him to be a danger. The suit also claims that MASL nevertheless placed Earl into a position of power as a team owner, which allowed Earl to prey on young female employees.
"Dion Earl's behavior toward me and other members of the dance team went way beyond being inappropriate," said Elizabeth Buslon, a former dance team member who obtained a Sexual Assault Protection Order against Earl. "What happened to me was terrifying and abusive. He took advantage of his position as team owner to plan an attack, and then he tried to cover it up. The league did nothing to help."
Jessilyn Roberts, another former dance team member and plaintiff in the case, was asked by Earl to help with marketing. "I went to work thinking it was going to be an evening of handing out flyers and promoting the team. It turned into a nightmare that I didn't ask for and certainly didn't want," Roberts said. "I don't know how the league ever allowed him to own and run a team."
The six plaintiffs in the case are represented by Donald W. Heyrich of HKM Employment Attorneys who said, "No woman should be subject to this type of sexually aggressive behavior at any time or place, but especially not in the workplace at the hands of an owner and CEO. How on earth could a national professional sports league disregard Earl's past and give him a position of power and direct contact with young women? Our clients are suffering because MASL ignored obvious harm and placed profits above the safety of women."
The plaintiffs provide detailed allegations regarding Earl and MASL in a 42-page complaint, which is available online along with other information about the case at https://hkm.com/masl/.
HKM Employment Attorneys LLP
Donald W. Heyrich
SOURCE HKM Employment Attorneys LLP