In a lawsuit filed against a former Bishop Alemany High School volleyball coach accusing him of sexually molesting a former player of the 2016-17 team, there were claims of “a history” of the school “employing teachers convicted of sexual felonies involving minors and improper communication with minor students.’’
On Tuesday, May 22, the attorneys for the plaintiff in a lawsuit against former boys’ coach Jamie Quaglino cited examples of alleged inappropriate behavior by coaches and teachers at the private Catholic high school in Mission Hills.
“William Eick was a teacher employed at the school and was also a volleyball coach at the school at the same time,” said attorney Cathryn Fund of the firm JML Law, which has offices in Woodland Hills as well as other Southern California locations. “In May of 2017, he was booked on charges of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. It is my understanding of the case is it’s still in the [legal] system.”
Fund added that “in December of 2017, there was a teacher let go for improper comments with students. We don’t have any more information than that. We are also aware of other teachers there in 2002-04 that were terminated for inappropriate behavior with students.”
Fund and attorney Jared Beilke represent a former student listed as “John Doe” in a lawsuit that was filed May 16 in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The suit also names the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the high school.
The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, alleges sexual abuse of a minor, intentional infliction of emotional distress, sexual battery, sexual harassment, negligent hiring, negligent failure to warn the plaintiff and failure to report suspected child abuse.
On Wednesday, Alemany school officials referred all inquiries to the office of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. A spokeswoman said the office had not yet seen or received the lawsuit from attorneys.
Doe is presently 18 years old. The suit alleges that during the 2016-17 school year, when he was 16, Quaglino “showed an interest in plaintiff and began grooming him with the intent of manipulating his emotions,” and that Quaglino paid extra attention to Doe and “smacked or pinched him in the buttocks when he came off the volleyball court.”
Quaglino also sent “personal and intimate text messages” to Doe throughout the day and night, according to the suit. The text messages asked Doe whether he was gay and if so, what percentage he was gay, the suit states.
The coach also asked the plaintiff if he was going to admit he was gay after he graduated, according to the complaint. In addition, attorneys said the bulk of the text messages between the coach and their client “asked the child if he was sexually curious,” made comments about “hand jobs,” and also “the size of the teacher’s genitalia.”
In July 2017, Quaglino sent messages via Snapchat to a former Alemany student in which he asked about the plaintiff’s private parts, the suit alleges.
In October 2017, according to the suit, Quaglino allegedly inserted the antenna of a walkie-talkie into Doe’s buttocks during a volleyball practice session in front of teammates. The plaintiff “was humiliated, in pain and confused about their relationship,” the suit states.
In October 2017, the teen confided in his parents about the alleged abuses, according to the suit.
Quaglino was fired in December 2017 for “communication with a student,” but was allowed to stay on campus in a supervisory role for at least four weeks, according to the suit.
In April 2008, Quaglino was involved in an off-campus hazing incident involving a sex toy and the assault of a minor, the suit states. He resigned as head volleyball coach and 11 students were kicked off the team, according to the lawsuit.
“Despite the scandal, Quaglino remained employed by Alemany and later reclaimed his position as the head volleyball coach,” the suit states.
Beilke said since the suit was just filed, the next step was for the legal counsel for Alemany High to accept being served the lawsuit. “Once they do, they have 30 days to respond to the claim. At that point we can do discovery.”
Beilke said legal representatives for Alemany had agreed to receive the suit, and “would be served in the next day or two.”
City News Service contributed to this report.