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Concordia University accused of neglecting abuse by coach

March 9, 2018

RIVER FOREST, Ill. (AP) — A former student at Concordia University Chicago has filed an updated lawsuit accusing the school of negligence and failing to protect its student athletes from sex abuse by a head baseball coach.

The 28-year-old former Concordia pitcher filed the lawsuit Thursday against the university and former coach Spiro Lempesis. The coach has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty in December of sexually assaulting a teen who later became one of his players at the River Forest university, the Chicago Tribune reported .

The Associated Press typically does not name policy alleged victims of sexual abuse unless they choose to go public.

Lempesis coerced the player into sometimes videotaped sex acts on up to 30 occasions from 2008-09 in exchange for favorable treatment, a dent in money he owed for baseball equipment and with promises the coach would contact scouts to help him get drafted, according to the lawsuit.

Lempesis’ lawyer, Blake Horwitz, said that the player has fabricated part of his story and that the lawsuit is just to collect money for consensual sexual activity. Horwitz has also filed an intent to appeal the sentencing ruling, saying Lempesis was never sexually involved with the player when he was a teen.

The lawsuit against Lempesis was updated with a new complaint alleging Concordia didn’t properly investigate misconduct nor follow procedures to protect student athletes from predatory coaches. It said the university never should have hired the coach and failed to perform an adequate background check on him.

“I think there was a concerted effort to sweep this under the rug,” said Gina DeBoni, attorney for the former player. “At the end of the day, I think this was nothing more than damage control.”

The university declined to comment citing pending litigation.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com

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