With Assembly Bill 218 now the law, sexual abuse victims have a three-year window to file a lawsuit against their perpetrator or the institution that allowed the abuse to occur. As a result, the sexual abuse legal team from Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard is now investigating the case of former Los Gatos High School and Westmont High School softball coach Todd Lafferty.
In 2000, Deputy District Attorney Chuck Gillingham charged Lafferty with a total of seven sex crimes: two counts of sex with a minor, three counts of digital penetration, one count of oral copulation, and one count lewd and lascivious acts with a minor. Lafferty was sentenced to two years of jail and is a registered sex offender.
Los Gatos police reportedly arrested Lafferty in 2000 following a four-month investigation into sexual crimes involving minors. Lafferty was at the time a softball coach at Los Gatos High School and previously at Westmont High School. The first victim to come forward was a student at Los Gatos High School. Shortly after that, three other victims came forward. The sex crimes spanned from 1995-2000.
The grooming of the community
Lafferty's case fit all of the typical grooming behaviors exhibited by predators. At first, players and friends rallied support behind Lafferty. Some players described him as a “caring, older brother figure.” One victim’s father shared that he had welcomed Lafferty over to the family’s house for dinner. He was even going to write a letter of support for Lafferty until his daughter told him that Lafferty victimized her. Feeling betrayed, the father said, “I loathe that person for taking a young girl’s trust - a family’s trust - and stomping on it.”
Los Gatos High School history of predators
Unfortunately, Lafferty was not the only coach that preyed on Los Gatos High School students. In November 1999, Chioke Robinson, an assistant track coach, was questioned and investigated for illegal sexual intercourse with a minor. His case, investigated by the same LGPD Detective, Randy Bishop, resulted unfortunately in a closed case. Although school officials claim to have fired Robinson, the head track coach, Willy Harmatz, insisted Robinson was still coaching and working with the athletes. Suspicions of Robinson’s sexual assaults spread throughout LGHS, with heated exchanges between the head coach, defending Robinson, school administration, and the local reporters for The Los Gatos Weekly. It took 17 long years for Robinson to finally get arrested by the San Jose Police Department and charged for the sexual crimes against minors. He allegedly victimized four students from 1999-2011 from Los Gatos High School and Piedmont Hills High School in San Jose. Three of the victims were teenagers when Robinson initiated the illegal crimes, whereas the fourth victim was only 12 years old. The district attorney charged Robinson with 15 counts of oral copulation, sexual penetration, and lewd and lascivious acts with minors.
LGHS had two sexual predators on the school campus and victimizing young students sexually. There could be more victims harmed by Lafferty or Robinson. The attorneys at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard believe that victims have the right to seek justice so that the predators, and the institutions that hired them, are held responsible. If you or a loved one had been a victim of Lafferty or Robinson, please call (408) 289-1417 for a free and confidential consultation.