A former swimmer at Malvern Preparatory School in Pennsylvania is suing the school for negligence, alleging that the school failed to stop his swimming coach from sexually harassing him for over a year.
Philly.com reports that Billy Beard has filed a civil suit against his former school, accusing school officials of not properly supervising former swim coach and guidance counselor Emily Feeney or stopping her actions even after Beard had reported her for inappropriate emails and text messages.
The sexual harassment occurred between March of 2014 and May of 2015. Feeney, 41, was arrested in August of 2015 on charges of sexual assault. In March of this past year, she admitted to attempting to seduce the swimmer, who was 16 years old at the time. Feeney accepted a plea deal that includes 5 years of probation and 15 as part of a sex offender registry.
Beard’s suit alleges that Feeney’s behavior was “open and observable,” and should have been caught or investigated by school authorities earlier. The suit names the school, it’s head of school Christian Talbot, assistant head of school Steven Valyo, swim coach Peter Lee, the local club team, Malvern Swim Association, and Feeney herself.
The school gave a statement to Philly.com:
“In May 2015, after learning of the inappropriate actions by Emily Feeney, the administration took immediate steps to notify the appropriate authorities and place Ms. Feeney on administrative leave,” Talbot wrote. “We then determined that Ms. Feeney would not return to our campus.”