South Bay school employees knew coach had student’s child, lawsuit alleges

By FIONA KELLIHER | | Bay Area News GroupPUBLISHED: February 10, 2020 at 12:37 pm | UPDATED: February 11, 2020 at 7:21 am

SARATOGA — A former Prospect High School student claims that school employees failed to investigate or report his illicit encounters with an adult basketball coach when he was a minor, even after the coach became pregnant with his child, according to a new civil lawsuit against the district.

Filed last week in Santa Clara County Superior Court, the suit alleges a torrid series of events in the Campbell Union High School District during the 2012-2013 school year, including the allegation that at least one other Prospect High employee helped to facilitate the illegal relationship.

The plaintiff — referred to as “John Doe” in the suit — transferred to the school midway through his sophomore year in 2011. Early on in the fall of 2012, the student, who had recently turned 16, began receiving messages from part-time assistant female basketball coach Mariah Rogers, who was then in her early 20s, the suit alleges.

As the messages continued, the student and Rogers began meeting on campus for sexual encounters several times a week — in some cases, with the help of a school library worker, who allegedly helped to arrange clandestine meeting spots, according to the suit.

The suit claims that the encounters were so well-known across the school that the school’s then-dean of students allegedly confronted the plaintiff directly to ask him about “rumors” surrounding the relationship, but made no effort to report or investigate the situation. The head women’s basketball coach also knew about the affair but felt it wasn’t her “business” to interfere, she allegedly told another student years later, according to the lawsuit.

Ryan Erickson, the plaintiff’s lawyer and a partner at San Francisco firm Lewis & Llewellyn, declined to share when exactly those conversations occurred.

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