In a jaw-dropping turn of events, the trial against former San Jose State athletic trainer Scott Shaw has taken an explosive twist. Testimonies from brave female athletes have illuminated the sordid details of Shaw’s alleged sexual abuse, leaving the courtroom stunned.
Caitlin Macky, the first fearless athlete to come forward, described with vivid clarity how Shaw’s hands roamed across her body during treatment, violating her fundamental right to bodily integrity. Macky recounted the chilling moment when Shaw’s fingers ventured to her breast and inside her underwear, all under the pretense of medical care. The alarm bells within her body echoed as Shaw’s touch invaded sensitive areas never before accessed by a trainer.
Another former athlete, a volleyball player, mustered the courage to testify as well, revealing the distressing experience of Shaw massaging the side of her breast during a shoulder treatment. Overwhelmed by shock, she abruptly bolted from the training room, bursting through the doors of the practice gym to share her harrowing encounter with her teammates. Astonishingly, her outcry fell on deaf ears as no one followed up on her distressing revelation.
Shaw, 56, has pleaded not guilty to six federal civil rights charges, each carrying a sentence that could potentially lock him behind bars for six years. Federal prosecutors have honed in on four women whose traumatic encounters with Shaw fall within the statute of limitations. As the prosecution nears the end of its case, Shaw’s defense will soon present their witnesses, and the riveting trial could reach the hands of the jury as early as Friday.
Caitlin Macky’s unwavering determination led 17 swimmers from the 2009 Spartan swim team to report their experiences to their coach. Despite taking her grievances to campus police and university officials, an internal investigation dismissed Shaw of any wrongdoing in 2010, attributing his actions to legitimate “trigger point” therapy. The swimmer felt utterly disheartened when she discovered that Shaw was still permitted to work with athletes, leaving her with a sense that her own turmoil had been dismissed.
Under cross-examination, defense attorney Dave Callaway insinuated that Macky had embellished her account to seek retribution for the previous inaction against Shaw. Yet, Macky stood her ground, vehemently denying the accusation.
Macky’s decision to go public with her allegations in 2020 resulted in a stunning exposé by USA Today, which triggered a domino effect of scandal and upheaval. Questions surrounding the university’s decision to retain Shaw’s services for over a decade prompted the resignations of both the university’s president and athletic director in 2021. The victims, including Macky, secured more than $5 million in settlements.
The trial unveiled a legion of witnesses who attested that Shaw’s actions were far from normal treatment procedures. Former athletic trainer Laura Alexander, now a senior associate athletic director, emphatically stated during her testimony that she would never subject female athletes to the kind of inappropriate touching Shaw allegedly indulged in. Numerous other witnesses from the trial, including male athletes, further reinforced the stark contrast in Shaw’s treatment between genders.
As the prosecution’s case draws to a close, the courtroom remains in awe of the brave athletes who stood up against the abuse they endured. The trial’s proceedings have shed light on a deeply disturbing pattern of behavior, with the hope that justice will be served and no athlete will have to endure such violations in the future.