Ex-San Jose State trainer pleads not guilty in sex misconduct case

A former sports medicine director at San Jose State pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal civil rights charges related to alleged sexual misconduct against four female student-athletes.

Scott Shaw, 54, entered six not-guilty pleas during a virtual arraignment, according to USA Today and the Spartan Daily, San Jose State’s student newspaper. Court records show he faces six counts of misdemeanor deprivation of rights under the color of law.

Last week, federal prosecutors charged Shaw, who served as the university’s athletic trainer, with violating the student-athletes’ civil rights by allegedly touching their breasts and buttocks without their consent and without a legitimate purpose between 2017 and 2020.

He is further alleged to have acted under color of law, as an employee of the California State University system, when he sexually assaulted the victims.

Shaw faces a maximum of six years in prison if convicted of all counts.

His attorney, Sam Polverino, declined to comment Tuesday night. The trainer has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

In November, the university announced that it reached a $3.3-million settlement with 15 former student-athletes who had accused the longtime sports trainer of subjecting them to sexual touching.

The payout follows a federal civil rights investigation that found San Jose State did not take adequate action in response to the athletes’ reports and retaliated against two employees who raised repeated concerns to the university about Shaw.

Allegations against Shaw date to December 2009, when several female student-athletes reported that the trainer had touched their breasts, groins, buttocks and/or pubic areas during treatment that was described to them as “trigger-point therapy” or “pressure-point therapy,” according to a report released in September by the U.S. Justice Department.

As recently as February 2020, a student alleged improper touching by Shaw, but he continued to work at the university until he retired in August 2020.

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