Oregon Municipality Hit with Sex Abuse Lawsuit

City officials in Lincoln City will have to contend with a civil lawsuit concerning the behavior of one of its employees.

The abuse lawsuit involves a 20-year-old coach from the Lincoln City Youth Sports Program. This is the first lawsuit related to sexual abuse inflicted on youth by Lincoln City Youth Sports Coach Tyler Lopez. As an employee of the city, the municipality may be held civilly liable for the actions of employees during the scope of their employment.

Coach Tyler Lopez pleaded guilty on September 7, 2017 to charges for sexually abusing 6 minors between approximately 2013 and 2017. Lopez was sentenced to more than 40 years in prison. As a part of the sentence, the Court has also ordered Lopez to register as a sex offender when he is released.

The arrest and conviction shocked the community as Lopez was a well-known basketball, football and baseball coach. Lopez was arrested in March of 2017 on 37 criminal charges related to sexual abuse of minors, including first and second degree sexual abuse, luring a minor, encouraging child sexual abuse, and charges related to creating child pornography. Bail was initially set at $1.5 million.

The Lopez case is a sad reminder that no one is above reproach or suspicion when it comes to the issue of child sexual abuse. Parents and those in positions of authority must remain vigilant regardless of how well the coach, teacher, pastor, or Scout lead is known or regarded.

As a sex abuse lawyer who’s represented hundreds of survivors, I know the abuser is often well-known and trusted by the child and authority figures.  That is how the perpetrator is able to gain access to the child. I don’t believe that it’s hyperbolic to state that no minor should ever be left alone with an adult under any circumstances. The safety of the child is too important and too fragile to take chances.

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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