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Former US Olympic Gymnast Coach is Accused of Orange County, California Child Sex Abuse

December 31, 1969

Don Peters, the man who coached the US women's gymnastics team to eight medals at the 1984 Olympic Games, is accused of having had sex with three women when they were teen gymnasts. All three women attended SCATS, a gymnastics club in Huntington Beach. They say that Peters had sexual relations with them during the 1980's.

One of the women, Doe Yamashiro, was also a member of the US national team. She told the OC Register that the repeated fondling started when she was 16 and she had sex with him when she was 17. The second woman claims she had sex with Peters when she was 18. She says that Peters had known she was an incest survivor.

The women's families and fellow former gymnasts say that the sex abuse allegations against Peters are true. If USA Gymnastics decides to substantiate the women's sexual abuse allegations, Peters could be banned from the sport for life.

Child Sexual Abuse
Child sex abuse is a serious problem. A lot of victims know their abusers. Many abusers are in position of authority over their targets that allows them access and power.

Sex abuse is illegal and can be grounds for criminal charges. It can also be reason for filing Orange County, California personal injury charges against the abuser and others that may have allowed the abuse to happen.

To bring a Orange County, California sexual abuse claim, your civil lawsuit must be made before you turn 26. That's within 8 years of the age of majority. That said, California has put into place an extension to this statute of limitations on the grounds of "discovery" of the abuse or its effects. This allows for Orange County, California personal injury complaints involving sex abuse to be filed within three years of the date that the victim discovered (or should have found out) that sex abuse caused illness or psychological injury after the age of majority.

The state of California also has a law that allows for sex abuse complaints to be made against those that knew that a representative, employee, agent, or volunteer was committing unlawful sexual conduct yet did not take reasonable actions to stop the behavior. A plaintiff has one year upon discovering this entity or person to file a lawsuit.

It can be hard for a child to step forward right away to report that he/she has been a victim of sex abuse. The victim may not exactly understand what is happening, feel responsible for the assault, feel paralyzing shame, or be too scared to report what happened for fear of the repercussions. It is also not uncommon for victims of child sex abuse to repress their memories for years.

In California, even if a minor consents to sex, it is illegal for an adult to have sex with anyone under age of 18.

INVESTIGATION: Ex-gymnasts accuse renowned coach of sex abuse, OC Register, September 23, 2011

SCATS Gymnastics

Don Peters Biography, US Gymnastics Hall of Fame

More Blog Posts:
Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against the Stepdad of Woman Who Committed Suicide While Alleging He Raped Her is Revived, California Injury Lawyers, July 16, 2011

Costa Mesa Priest Sued for Orange County, California Child Sex Abuse on Trial, California Injury Lawyers, June 16, 2011

Mexican Man's Los Angeles Sex Abuse Lawsuit Accuses Cardinal Roger Mahoney Of Conspiring to Cover Up for Priest, California Injury Lawyers, April 20, 2010

Our Anaheim personal injury law firm represents the families of children who have suffered harm because of others' actions or lack of action. Contact Howard Law, PC today.