Allegations levied against a 67-year-old equestrian team coach by a freshman member of the team were detailed and serious. See what a court said about the student’s claims.
Beth Bloomer enrolled at Becker College in September 2007. She chose the school for its equine studies program and quickly joined its all-female equestrian team.
Bloomer said the team’s coach, 67-year-old Edmund Paro, engaged in a variety of sexually harassing behavior. According to Bloomer, he told team members to wear revealing tops and thong-style underwear during competitions.
He also allegedly pinched team members’ buttocks, took pictures of them in odd positions and posted them on Facebook, and touched their breasts during “physical therapy” sessions.
Bloomer’s allegations went even further. She said that when she had trouble with her roommate and accepted an invitation to stay at Paro’s house, he drank, offered her alcohol and touched her inappropriately. She also claimed that he once offered to drive her to her dorm, but instead took her to his house and refused to take her home.
Bloomer said that when she tried to complain, she was told to wait until after the semester break because the school was already investigating a separate, similar complaint against Paro.
She left school and sued, raising an assortment of claims including sexual harassment under Title IX, assault and battery, false imprisonment and breach of contract.
The school filed a motion to dismiss, but the court allowed all claims to proceed except the breach of contract and assault and battery claims.
The assault and battery claims against the school failed because Paro was not acting in the scope of his employment when he allegedly engaged in the physically harassing conduct, and there were not enough facts asserted in support of the contract claim.
Cite: Bloomer v. Becker College.
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