The lawsuit alleges that Thomas Adrahtas, a one-term hockey coach in the mid-1980s, performed sex acts on blindfolded athletes while pretending to be a woman.
Five former University of Minnesota have filed a sexual assault lawsuit against the school and former hockey coach Thomas “Chico” Adrahtas.
The Star-Tribune reports that the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota earlier this week.
In the lawsuit, the former hockey players—alongside recruit Mike Sacks—claim that Adrahtas would regularly blindfold his players while inducing them to believe that a woman named “Sheila” was performing a sex act on them.
The other plaintiffs, notes the Star-Tribune, are Christopher Jensen, Brent Cary, Benjamin Cole, and Kelly Gee.
Sacks claims he told the university’s former athletics director, Paul Giel, of the abuse, but that Giel failed to ever alert law enforcement or initiate any sort of disciplinary action. Instead, Giel passed off the report to the school’s Board of Regents, which did nothing with the complaint.
“Paul Giel, the Athletic Department, UMN and its Board devised a plan to conceal Defendant Adrahtas’ criminal activity to avoid negative press and exposure to civil liability and criminal charges,” the suit alleges.
According to the lawsuit, the University of Minnesota had planned a retaliatory plan to save face: it would fire head hockey coach Brad Buetow without warning, allow Adrahtas to resign, and then kick Sacks off the hockey program mere months after he had been offered a full athletic scholarship.
“One day I had friends, and the next day I didn’t,” Sacks said on Friday. “I had to deal with, why did hockey blame me when I didn’t do anything wrong? Why didn’t hockey protect me? They protected themselves and the institution.”
The lawsuit suggests that, not only did Adrahtas sexually assault his recruits and players, but he invited others to join in, too.
Adrahtas, recalls the complaint, had told the hockey players that “Sheila” gave “the best oral sex” they would ever have, but was unattractive and had once been sexually assaulted—so she would only be comfortable if the athletes were blindfolded.
While Adrahtas himself would sexually assault the men, he purportedly accepted payments from other adults to take on the role of “Sheila.”
Although the university has yet to comment on the pending litigation, the school did hire a law firm last year to investigate the allegations against both Adrahtas and the university.
The Star-Tribune notes that law firm Perkins Cole “found that sexual abuse allegations … were known by individuals within the University’s Athletic Department at or around the time of the former assistant coach’s departure from the University.”
“Despite this knowledge, available evidence shows no action taken by the University to investigate the allegations at that time,” Perks Cole said in as statement. “This University bears responsibility for that failure.”