U.S. Youth Soccer Association Agrees to Pay $8.2 Million to Settle Lawsuit Over Background Checks

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On August 17, 2018, the U.S. Youth Soccer Association and its Northern California affiliate agreed to pay $8.2 million to settle a lawsuit over their failure to properly run background checks on a coach who was later convicted of sexually abusing a 13-year-old player, according to a report by the San Jose Mercury News.

The Mercury News reports that the volunteer coach, Emanuele Fabrizio, pleaded guilty in 2012 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Fabrizio was convicted of domestic violence and battery against his wife in 2006 and should have been disqualified during background checks but no check was performed.

The Mercury News reports that the U.S. Youth Soccer Association – the largest youth sports organization in the U.S. – now mandates criminal background checks for coaches. The U.S. Youth Soccer Association will pay $6.5 million and its affiliated Cal North Soccer Association will pay $1.7 million in the settlement.

An appellate court disagreed with the soccer association’s claim that it did not have a duty to require local affiliates to conduct background checks on all coaches since many of them did even though the association did not mandate that its affiliates conduct background checks, The Mercury News reports.

The lawyer representing the former West Valley Youth Soccer League player – who is now 19 – “called the settlement one of the largest of its kind and said he and his client hope it will send a message to sports leagues about their duty to protect the children in their care,” The Mercury News reports.

Some non-profit organizations may not know if they have a convicted criminal or registered sex offender working as a volunteer. Non-profit organizations need to perform due diligence background checks to ensure a safe workplace for the people in the organization, co-workers, and the community in general.

“Unfortunately, in today’s world the fact remains that sex offenders exploit volunteer opportunities in youth, faith-based, and non-profit organizations to gain access to potential victims,” explains Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).

Rosen has written a whitepaper entitled “Screening Volunteers for Non-Profits” that shows why performing background checks on volunteers helps protect children and the vulnerable. Download the whitepaper at www.esrcheck.com/Tools-Resources/Whitepaper-Library/Screening-Volunteers-for-Non-Profits/ .

ESR Offers Volunteer Background Checks to Help Protect Youths

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a global background check firm – provides background checks specializing in non-profit, youth, church, and volunteer organizations. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Industry-Specific-Solutions/Non-Profit-Volunteer/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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