Longtime coach and alumna charged with sexual abuse
Amy Emerald, Sonora High School girls’ basketball coach is facing charges of sexually abusing a former 15-year-old student. The question remains, what did the school know about the coach, and what did they do to stop her? The Sheriff's Facebook page has comments from former students who claimed to have heard rumors for years.
According to The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, the alleged sexual abuse began when the student was 15. The Sheriff’s report indicates that the victim was a former Sonora High School student. The Sheriff’s Office reportedly uncovered enough evidence in the subsequent investigation to make an arrest.
It appears that Emerald became the varsity head coach of the Sonora High School basketball team in 2011. Prior to that, she served as JV coach for ten years. She may have gone under the name of Amy Santos. Reports also indicate that Emerald is an employee with the Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Office with the title of Coordinator II. Emerald appears to have graduated from Sonora High School in 1995.
Don’t blame the victim
In sexual abuse cases involving popular coaches or teachers, it is common for the community to rally behind the accused and to call into question the charges leveled by the victim. On the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Facebook page, that is exactly what is occurring. Yet, that is part of the so-called “grooming” process. Predators go out of the way to not only gain the trust of the victim, but also the trust of the community. That is how boundaries are stretched and rules are broken, which leads to sexual abuse.
The effects of sexual abuse last into adulthood and touch every aspect of a victims’ life. For that reason, the financial burden of trauma should not be the responsibility of the victim but rather those responsible for the victim’s harm.
If you or a loved one are a victim of Amy Emerald, please call the sexual abuse attorneys at the law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard. We have a long history of representing sexual assault victims against their abuser and the institution that enabled the perpetrator’s illegal behavior. Please call 408-289-1417 for a free and confidential consultation.