San Jose State Athletic Trainer Scott Shaw Scandal

Feds Charge Scott Shaw

Federal prosecutors charged a former sports medicine director at San Jose State with civil rights violations after he allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with female student-athletes under the guise of treating them for their injuries.

Scott Shaw, 54, who served as the university’s athletic trainer, is charged with violating the civil rights of four students who played on women’s athletics teams by allegedly touching their breasts and buttocks without their consent and without a legitimate purpose between 2017 and 2020.

In late November 2021, San Jose State University agreed to pay $5 million dollars to 15 former student athletes who were allegedly sexually abused or harassed by SJSU athletic trainer Scott Shaw. He had been employed at the university for nearly 14 years.

While the settlement provides justice for these survivors and we commend them for coming forward, it is likely that many more student athletes were subjected to abuse and sexual misconduct over the course of Shaw’s employment at San Jose State University. At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we believe that all survivors of sexual abuse deserve legal representation. In cooperation with the Bay Area-based Arns Law Firm, we are investigating the abuses and accepting cases on behalf of former patients of Scott Shaw at San Jose State University.

If you or a loved one received treatment from Mr. Shaw, please contact our firm as soon as you are ready. We understand how difficult the aftermath of sexual abuse can be and how difficult it can be to come forward. Our California sexual abuse attorneys can help you find closure and seek justice for what happened. Call (800) 700-8450 or complete a contact form today.

Leaders in Sexual Abuse Litigation

Manly, Stewart & Finaldi and the Arns Law Firm are among the leaders in sexual abuse litigation. Both firms are staunch advocates for survivors and have helped hundreds of clients hold abusers and the institutions that allow them to thrive accountable.

The Arns Law Firm represented all fifteen survivors in the firstSJSU settlement. They understand the facts and exactly what survivors need and are entitled to.

Manly, Stewart & Finaldi has recovered over $1.3 billion dollars for survivors of sexual abuse in medical and athletic settings, including the victims of former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar and former University of Southern California gynecologist, George Tyndall.

There is no cost to retain our services. We handle these cases on contingency only, meaning we advance all costs associated with the investigation and legal process.

Justice for 15 Survivors, Hundreds More Likely

In November 2021 San Jose State and 15 former female student-athletes who alleged sexual harassment and abuse by Shaw have reached a $5 million settlement, the latest reckoning for the school that largely ignored the decade-long threat to students.

Scott Shaw worked with female athletes at San Jose State University for nearly 14 years, beginning in 2006. As early as 2009, female athletes at the school began complaining that Shaw’s trigger point therapy involved reaching underneath clothing to touch their breasts and groin area without explanation or informed consent.

San Jose State University conducted a Title IX investigation against Shaw, but ultimately cleared him of any wrongdoing. As a result, Shaw continued to employ his “trigger point” physical therapy for 11 years even though the complaints from female athletes and coaches continued.

From 2009-2020, it is estimated that Scott Shaw treated over 1,000 female athletes at the University. Finally, in November 2020 – a full 11 years after the initial Title IX investigation – a physician for the United States Counsel for Athletes Health concluded that Shaw’s practices were:

  • Unethical and disturbing
  • Inconsistent with accepted practices
  • Improper and had no reasonable or therapeutic explanation

It is probable that Scott Shaw performed these improper practices on many of the 1,000+ female athletes he treated.

SJSU Failed Student Athletes

While Scott Shaw committed the abuses, San Jose State University failed its student athletes repeatedly. Despite the 2009 investigation, allegations of inappropriate sexual touching from patients and coaches continued repeatedly and consistently for 14 years. The University failed to adequately respond and created an environment that allowed the sexual abuse to continue.

In September 2021, the United States Department of Justice investigated SJSU’s handling of the allegations of sexual abuse. The DOJ found that:

  • SJSU violated Title IX, causing significant and preventable injuries to students and employees.
  • The University failed for more than a decade respond adequately to reports of sexual harassment and abuse.
  • SJSU subjected student-athletes to an ongoing hostile environment
  • Among many other failings

Legal Action Can Prevent This From Happening Again

Survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of Scott Shaw may be dealing with PTSD, depression, anxiety, dysphoria, and long-term negative impacts on professional opportunities and personal relationships. The simple fact is that San Jose State University had a duty and an opportunity to protect student-athletes and it failed. For survivors, legal action may be the only way to find justice for what happened. It can help create closure and provide compensation for the impact that it had on their lives. However, it can also be a driver of change so other students aren’t subjected to similar abuses in the future.

If you or a loved one were treated by SJSU athletic trainer Scott Shaw or experienced inappropriate sexual touching or abuse by any other trainer or staff member, please, contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi today. We can stand up for your rights and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions or inaction.