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Qiling Wang, KSL, File

Settlement reached in lawsuit over high school football assault

By Annie Knox, KSL | Posted - Nov 12th, 2019 @ 6:26pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — The mother of a Utah high school football player who was assaulted by a teammate last year has settled a civil rights lawsuit against the rural South Sanpete School District.

Misty Cox and her son Greg, a student at Gunnison Valley High School, had alleged administrators did little to stop ongoing abuse at the school over multiple years, creating a climate that tolerated sexual assaults and harassment.

In a Tuesday court filing, Cox’s attorney said his client has reached an agreement with the district. The document does not provide any detail on terms of the deal.

Cox filed the suit on behalf of her son last year. Although KSL typically does not name victims of sexual crimes, Greg and his mother have agreed to the use of his first name.

Cox’s attorney, Robert Sykes, did not immediately respond to messages for comment Tuesday. Diana Bradley, one of the lawyers in the Utah Attorney General’s Office who is defending the district, said the office did not immediately have a comment.

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On Sept. 17, before the start of football practice, two players tackled and pinned the freshman junior varsity player to the ground while a third rubbed his genitals on the boy’s face.

In February, the young athlete who assaulted Greg admitted in juvenile court to eight incidents of forcible sex abuse as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. A judge in Manti’s 6th District Juvenile Court ordered him to move in with his grandparents in St. George and sentenced him to therapy and community service while attending an alternative high school.

Greg was credited at the February sentencing hearing with being the first to speak up and helping other victims be comfortable telling police what happened.

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