New sexual abuse lawsuit provides insight into SFUSD agreement
A secret agreement between the San Francisco Unified School District and alleged sexual abuser Lawrence Young-Yet Chan removed Chan from his job as a high school athletic director but left him free to work at other schools and youth-serving organizations, according to an amended lawsuit filed today on behalf of a new victim.
There are now two women who have come forward to say that Chan repeatedly sexually assaulted them when they were students.
Chan was the athletic director at George Washington High School.
The girls, Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, are choosing to remain anonymous, said sexual abuse attorney Lauren Cerri from the San Jose-based law firm Corsiglia McMahon & Allard.
Jane Doe 1 told San Francisco police about Chan’s sexual assaults in 2017 and SFPD arrested him. However, he was released for a lack of evidence, the lawsuit says.
“That’s when the school district entered into an agreement with Chan that allowed him to quietly resign,” Cerri said. “That agreement provided that the school district would not release his personnel file unless required to do so by law, leaving Chan free to seek employment at other schools and elsewhere working with children. In fact, we believe Chan continued to work for San Francisco’s recreation department.”
Chan sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1 from 2012 to 2016; Jane Doe 2’s assaults occurred between 2012-2013.
Chan groomed both girls and other female student-athletes by allowing them to drive his car, buying them gifts and taking them to lunch or dinner, among other things.
Jane Doe 2 was called to Chan’s office to ice an injury, the lawsuit says. But he took her to an isolated storage room, where he sexually assaulted and abused her. There were also times that he would call Jane Doe 2 to his office to perform oral sex on him.
“At one point, Chan introduced Jane Doe 2 to his brother, telling her he was a gang member, who sex trafficked minor females,” Cerri said. “Jane Doe 2 was scared the brother would harm her if she told anyone about the sexual abuse, so she kept quiet.”
“For all we know, he could still be working with underage kids,” Cerri said. “That’s one reason why this is a very troubling case.”
The lawsuit was brought under the auspices of AB 218, which was approved by the California legislature in 2019.
“This law extends the statute of limitations so that anyone – no matter their age – has until the end of this year to file a civil lawsuit to recover damages for childhood sexual assault,” Cerri said. “So, the clock for these older assault cases is ticking down.”