(KRON) — A former student athlete will be paid $3.485 million by the Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District for sexual abuse she endured as a teenager. A press release from EVJ Communications states that the student, identified as “Jane Doe,” was abused by Los Gatos High School Assistant Track Coach Chioke Robinson, beginning in 1999.
The release states that Robinson began grooming her as a 14-year-old freshman and that the grooming “escalated” when the coach began having intercourse with her when she was 15.
A settlement for the former track star was negotiated by Corsiglia McMahon & Allard attorney, Lauren Cerri, according to the press release.
“This tragedy never should have happened,” Cerri said. “Another young female
track athlete testified that she told head coach Willie Harmatz in 1998 that she
was uncomfortable around Robinson. That girl’s complaints fell on deaf ears. All
Harmatz did in response was tell the girl to run on the other side of the track
away from where Robinson was training the girls’ track team.”
The press release says that the girl’s mother found a discarded pregnancy test and a love letter from Robinson in 1999. School administrators, including Principal Trudy McCulloch and Coach Willie Harmatz, were informed, according to the press release.
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“When another student disclosed that she had seen Robinson abusing Jane,
Harmatz went to the girl’s house and threatened to ruin her athletic career if she
didn’t stop ‘lying’ about Robinson, according to sworn testimony from the
student,” Cerri said. “Harmatz should have taken steps to protect this student but he instead covered up the brewing scandal.”
Although he was never disciplined, Robinson was fired in 2021, the release states.
“Even after other students told the school they had seen Robinson kissing me and
engaging in sexual acts with me, the school allowed him to continue coaching,”
Jane Doe said. “They cared more about the track team winning than protecting
The press release states that Robinson maintained his hold over Jane Doe until she was 21.
Robinson was eventually arrested in February of 2019 by the San Jose Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He was charged with 19 counts of sexually assaulting numerous girls, including Jane Doe.
His trial is set for Nov. 7.