Youth volleyball sexual abuse problem

When you think about the role that a coach plays in a youth sport, you expect to have an adult who wants to help children grow, improve, and support their teammates. When coaches are placed in a position of influence and authority, it is easy for the trust to be broken when a child is violated by their coach. Unfortunately, sexual abuse happens because coaches take advantage of their position of power and authority, and young athletes do not want to jeopardize their future in the sport. 

No sport seems is immune from sexual abuse. For youth volleyball, cases of sexual abuse are found on the internet, and some cases are also popping up after New York’s new Child Victims Act. One recent case in Syracuse concerns an elite volleyball coach and sports club owner, Rick Butler. The victim was 16 years old when Butler began raping her in 1981. Butler exploited his coaching position by allegedly telling the victim, “if she wanted to achieve all her goals and dreams of being a professional volleyball player, she needed to understand that she needed to follow him blindly” and “do as he said.” He continued to sexually abuse her and other underage girls. Despite a lifetime ban from USA Volleyball, Butler remained involved in the sport and was coaching five years after the ban again. 

Another case of a sexual predator involved Texas volleyball coach Damian Merrick. He was accused in 2015 of supplying young players with marijuana and raping a teen player several times. The female player did not speak up because she was scared and blamed herself. Her father believed it was every parent’s nightmare. “You got an individual that sets up a volleyball club, projects himself to be a mentor to these young girls to learn, and he has set up an institution grooming them and plying them with drugs.” 

Unfortunately, both coaches violated their young players. They groomed the victims and raped them repeatedly. Knowing that your child had been sexually abused by someone you put your trust in is a nightmare. Young victims are often scared to speak up, but they can finally seek justice as they find their voice to share their stories.  

As of February 3, 2021, the following is a list of individuals who have been suspended from membership in USA Volleyball. This list may not be exhaustive. If you have been abused by an individual on this list, please contact us and learn your legal rights.

Last Name First Name Suspension Start Date Suspension End Date Rule/Code May attend USAV Sanctioned Events
Allen Allen 3/1/2018 9/1/2018 U.S. Center for SafeSport imposed sanction for violation of Sexual Harassment of an adult, per USA Volleyball’s SafeSport Handbook (March 2016 Y
Angeles Tomas 5/15/2015 Suspended Violation of USAV Code of Conduct N
Arevalo Stewart Member Lasped

07/29/08

Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Artura Jared 11/26/2019 12/15/2020 Violation of USAV Participation Code of Conduct, Sportsmanship and the Bylaws of Garden-Empire Volleyball Association, Inc. Y
Attkinsson Paul 12/20/2019 Temporary Suspension Pending Investigation by U.S. Center for SafeSport N
Bahmer Michael 3/27/2019 Permanent Ineligibility SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement violation III.A.4.: It is a violation of the Code for a Covered Individual to be convicted of or subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Barton Eric 04/30/2020 2 Year Probation

04/30/2022

Violation of US Center for SafeSport Code Y
Begor Brian 7/31/2019 Permanent Ineligibility U.S. Center for SafeSport imposed Sanction for Violating the applicable policies, as outlined in the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement by (i) engaging in sexual contact with a minor female athlete, (ii) establishing an intimate relationship with a minor female athlete, and (iii) engaging in emotional misconduct against a minor female athlete. N
Blasco Miguel 6/19/2016 8/31/2019 Violation of USAV Code of Conduct Y
Bohnenblusch John 7/12/2017 Permanent Ineligibility Violation of USAV Code of Conduct, Bylaws of Garden-Empire Volleyball Association Article 9 Section 3, SafeSport Code Article III 1 (a), (b) and (d) and Article III 2 a-d. N
Buchanan Kari Member Lapsed 10/31/2018 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Bussey Jacob 3/14/2019 3/14/2021 Violation of USAV Participant Code of Conduct #2. Violation of USAV, Region and Club Electronic Communication / Social Media Policy. Violation of Junior Club Personnel Code of Ethics 5(b). N
Butler Rick 1/8/2018 Lifetime Ban Violation of USAV Code of Conduct (1995): Major misbehavior; prohibition of a member from acting in such a fashion as to cause USA Volleyball public embarrassment or ridicule. N
Butler Rick 12/11/2017 Lifetime Ban USAV Bylaws Article XIV: Violation of the Protective Order issued by USA Volleyball’s Ethics and Eligibility Committee N
Byers II Paul 7/11/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition – involving a minor N
Caher Matt 4/5/2018 Permanent Ineligibility SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement violation III.A.4.: It is a violation of the Code for a Covered Individual to be convicted of or subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Calar Francis 7/10/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Calderon Ruben 6//3/2020 Interim Measure Suspension Pending Investigation by U.S. Center for SafeSport N
Cassell Shane 01/16/2020 2 Year Probation

01/16/2022

Violation of 2016 USAV Code of Conduct Y
Chastain Benjamin 11/21/2017 Permanent Ineligibility SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement violation III.A.4.: It is a violation of the Code for a Covered Individual to be convicted of or subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Cole Jason 5/23/2018 Ineligibility SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement violation III.A.4.: It is a violation of the Code for a Covered Individual to be convicted of or subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Cole, Sr. Robert 4/20/2018 Ineligibility SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement violation III.A.4.: It is a violation of the Code for a Covered Individual to be convicted of or subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Collins Dave 2002 Suspended Indefinitely Violation of USAV Code of Conduct Y
Collymore Jane 10/29/2019 1 year probation 10/29/2020 Violation of USAV JCP items 5I, N, O and P. USAV Code of Conduct items 2 and 11. Y
Cooper Rebecca 2/10/2012 Suspended Violation of Coaches Code of Conduct Y
Counts Tyler 7/8/2020 3 Month Probation

10/8/2020

Violation of U.S. Center for SafeSport Code and Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies Y
Crabb Taylor 9/27/2017 1/27/2018 Violation of USAV Code of Conduct Sections 2 and 9: possession, consumption or distribution of alcohol and/or tobacco if illegal or in violation of USA Volleyball or Regional Volleyball Association policy, and, conduct which is inappropriate as determined by comparison to normally accepted behavior. Y
Dattilo Hilary Member Lapsed 10/31/2014 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Eckler Jon 10/8/2016 Lifetime Ban Violation of USAV Code of Conduct N
Emmons Tom 6/24/2017 Lifetime Ban Violation of USAV Code of Conduct N
Esteves James 1/4/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Forman II Robert 2/2/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Responding Party was/is subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Foster Dennis 6/23/2020 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Foster Keith 6/23/2020 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Franco Carlos 7/31/2020 Temporary Suspension Pending Investigation by U.S. Center for SafeSport N
Gibson Levinson “Levy” 7/24/2020 Temporary Suspension Pending Investigation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport N
Giggy Bruce 1/4/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Responding Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Guimaraes Ricardo 11/20/2018 11/21/2019 1-year Probation; Formal Warning U.S. Center for SafeSport imposed sanction for violation of SafeSport Code Section III.A.4: Responding Party was/is subject to a Criminal Disposition. Y
Hargrave Steve 3/1/2018 Permanently Ineligible Violated the applicable policies, as outlined in the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement (“the Code”) by (i) engaging in sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, with a minor athlete that he coached, (ii) engaging in an exploitative relationship, including providing alcohol to an individual under the legal age to consume alcohol, with an adult athlete that he coached, and (iii) sexual harassment of an adult athlete that he coached. N
Harper Willyncia Member Lapsed 10/31/2011 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Heath Daniel Member Lapsed 8/29/2009 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Herrs Shari Member Lapsed 10/31/2014 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Hewitt Leighton 1/4/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Hill Lyndsay 10/20/2010 8/31/2019 Violation of USAV Code of Conduct Y
Hipona Johnson 6/8/2018 6/8/2023 Violation of USAV Participant Code of Conduct #10 N
Hoy Frank 1/4/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Hunt Christopher 5/13/2019 5/12/2020, 2 years probation to follow Violation of USAV Participant Code of Conduct #7, Arizona Region Junior Club Personnel Code of Ethics O & P, Arizona Region Coaches Code of Conduct E. Y
Jenkins Richard 11/19/2018 Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition – involving a minor N
Jones Jason 2011 2012 Violation of USAV Code of Conduct Y
Kesselring Benjamin Member Lapsed

10/31/2018

Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Kimberly James Member Lapsed

10/31/2018

Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Kotarski Megan Member Lapsed 10/31/2017 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Labarre Maulia 02/05/2020 Permanent Ineligibility Violation of the Code for a Participant to have a Criminal Charge or Disposition. See the Code at Section IX.A. N
Lands Toriano 9/13/2018 Interim Restriction Pending Investigation U.S. Center for SafeSport Y
Larsen Brynn 6/13/2019 Ineligibility Section IX.A.1 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Laureta Delano Lapsed Member Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Lee Timothy 10/1/2020 Indefinite Pending Investigation N
Liedtke Michael 1/31/2019 Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Linne John 2/1/2019 3 Month Probation and SafeSport Education

4/1/2019

U.S. Center for SafeSport imposed sanction for violation of Section VI(A) of the SafeSport Practices and Procedures Y
Lowe Jerome 2/6/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Lum-Lung Danny Member Lapsed 10/31/2007 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
MacArthur Christopher Member Lapsed 10/31/2018 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
MacDonald Cameron 1/25/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Responding Party was/is subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Maldonado Tomas Member Lapsed 10/31/2017 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Marcof Omar 1/27/2015 Suspended Violation of USAV Code of Conduct N
Martin Daniel 8/28/2018 Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Mather Andrew 7/30/2020 1 Year Probation

7/30/2021

Violation of SafeSport Code, Section IX. A. Criminal Charge or Disposition. Y
McCracken Kody 1/17/2019 2 Year Probation 1/17/2021 U.S. Center for SafeSport imposed sanction for violation of USA Volleyball Junior Personnel Club Code of Ethics (Revised July 27,2016) Section III.A.1.d, Section II.K., Section II.R.1.b., Section 5.B. and Section 5.C. Y
McDaniel Christine 3/4/2019 1 Year Suspension, 2 Year Probation

3/4/2020

U.S. Center for SafeSport imposed sanction for violation of Section VI(A) SafeSport Practices and Procedures Y
McKienzie David 12/26/2017 12/7/2021 USAV Bylaws 15.02H: comply with the procedures pertaining to drug testing and adjudication of related doping offenses of the independent anti-doping organization designated by the USOC and/or the FIVB and WPV to conduct drug testing. Y
Merrick Damian 6/6/2016 Permanent Ineligibility Violation of USAV Code of Conduct N
Miceli Caitlyn 2/8/2019 Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Molina Diego 1/27/2016 Suspended Affiliated with another Federation Y
Moore Marc 5/23/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Morales Michael 3/18/2013 Permanent Ineligibility Violation of USAV Code of Conduct N
Mortensen Ryan 10/21/2019 Ineligibility Section IX.A of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Murphy Keyunta Member Lapsed 10/31/2016 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Nguyen Pete 2/23/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Nilssen Kjell 8/26/2020 Permanent Ineligibility Violated the applicable policies, as outlined in the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, when he was convicted of Distributing Lewd Matter to a Minor, Annoy or Molest a Child Under 18 Years of Age, Penetration with Foreign Object of Victim Under 18 Years of Age, Oral Copulation with a Minor Under 18 Years of Age and Sodomy with a Minor Under 18 Years of Age in California. N
Noble David Member Lapsed 10/31/2008 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Patnett Andre 3/21/2016 3/1/2018 Violation of USAV Code of Conduct, Bylaws of Garden-Empire Volleyball Association Article 9 Section 2 and Article 10 Section 2. Y
Paul Kevin 11/2/2009 Suspended Violation of USAV Code of Conduct Y
Payne Steve 11/13/2018 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Pike Adam 2/8/2019 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Podolsky Galina 5/30/2013 Lifetime Ban Violation of USAV Code of Conduct Y
Pomar Francisco 1/27/2016 Suspended Affiliated with another Federation Y
Porter Brian 12/05/2019 Ineligible Violated the applicable policies, as outlined in the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, when he was charged with Felony Communication with a Minor for Immoral Purposes N
Quaglino Jamie Member Lapsed 10/31/2016 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Rajah Brenden Member Lapsed 10/31/2013 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Ranney Thomas Member Lapsed 10/31/2016 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Reynard Robert 9/12/2017 10/31/2019 Violation of USAV Code of Conduct Y
Rich Mark 8/31/2015 Lifetime Ban Violation of USAV Code of Conduct N
Riffner Keith 6/14/2018 Permanently Ineligible Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Roldan Gonzalo 12/17/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Ruiz Alan 4/2/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Part II.U.(c). of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement N
Russell Kevin 1/16/2018 Lifetime Ban Violation of USAV Code of Conduct N
Sanders Jeff 3/26/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Schaefer Brian 6/24/2019 12/24/2019 Probation Informal Resolution Section IX.C.1 & 2 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement Y
Schump Gregory 11/05/2020 Ineligible Violated the applicable policies, as outlined in the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, when he was charged with Enticement or Attempted Enticement of a Child, Child Molestation and Assault. N
Sisco Talia 10/9/2018 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Solis Steven 7/6/2016 Lifetime Ban Violation of USAV Participant Code of Conduct 6,7,8,9 and 10. Violation of USAV Jr. Club Personnel Code of Ethics B,C,G,N,O,P. Arizona Region Coaches Code of Conduct E. N
Sullivan Anthony 2/28/2019 Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Summers-Torres Theodoro 8/24/2020 Permanently Ineligible Violated the applicable policies, as outlined in the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, by by (i) engaging in nonconsensual sexual intercourse with an athlete, (ii) engaging in sexual conduct with an athlete when a Power Imbalance exists, (iii) engaging in sexual misconduct with a minor athlete, (iv) exposing himself to a minor athlete, (v) sending sexually explicit electronic communications to a minor athlete and soliciting images from a minor athlete, and (vi) providing marijuana and alcohol to a minor athlete. N
Thompson Michael 3/15/2019 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Torres Jan 1/4/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Touzinsky Scott 7/19/2018 4/15/2019 Formal Warning,SafeSport Education U. S. Center for SafeSport imposed sanction for violation of the 2013 USAV Coaches Code of Ethics and Conduct Principle II.G. Y
Valdez Stephen 8/14/2019 9/1/2019 – 1 Season Suspension: 2 Season Probation SafeSport Code Violation Art. IX.D.1.a & Art. IX.D.3.b (April 15, 2019 version), USAV COC-#2, 10, 11,12 & SURVA COC- #2 sections g, k, l N
Venditti Jennifer 8/12/2016 Suspended Violation of USAV Code of Conduct Y
Vu Huu 11/12/2018 9/1/2019 – 1 Season Suspension: 1 year probation status Violation of USAV Code of Conduct Y
Webb Angela 7/18/2018 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Weddel Orvil 3/25/2019 Permanent Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Williams Darrin 6/13/2019 Ineligibility Section IX.A.1 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N
Willoughby Kim Member Lapsed 9/24/2018 Indefinite U.S. Center for SafeSport Administrative Hold N
Woolverton Terry 8/5/2020 Permanently Ineligible Violated the applicable policies, as outlined in the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement (“the Code”) by engaging in nonconsensual sexual contact and intentionally exposing private areas when a Power Imbalance exists. N
Wright Richard 06/16/2020 Indefinite Pending Investigation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport N
Yee Skyler 2/8/2019 Ineligibility Section III.A.4 of the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: Party is currently subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor (an individual under the age of 18). N

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