Jury Deadlocked in Trial of Former San Jose State Athletic Trainer Accused of Sexual Assault

Share on:

Image Credit: none

On the second day of deliberations, the jury in the trial of former San Jose State athletic trainer, Scott Shaw, who stands accused of sexually assaulting female athletes during treatment sessions, reached a deadlock on at least some of the charges. The jury, consisting of eight women and four men, communicated their impasse to U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman in a note on Tuesday, stating that they had “unmovable jurors on each side” regarding guilt and innocence. Judge Freeman advised the jury to continue their deliberations.

The following day, the jury members reconvened in the jury room, focusing on the testimony of a former soccer player. This athlete recounted an incident where Shaw allegedly touched her breast inappropriately while adjusting her t-shirt under her bra and ran his hands along the sides of her breasts during treatment for a shoulder injury. Additionally, the jury requested testimony from a second former athlete, a water polo player, who testified that Shaw had touched her nipple during treatment for a shoulder injury in 2018 and grabbed her bare buttocks while attempting to crack her back. Both women became emotional, shedding tears as they recounted their experiences.

While the court reporter read back the full testimony of the soccer player as per the judge’s instruction, the request to review partial testimony from the water polo player was denied. The judge reasoned that relying on their own recollections would prevent any potential distortion caused by partial testimony. Defense lawyers agreed, highlighting the importance of preserving the jury’s unbiased memories.

In another note to Judge Freeman, a juror sought clarification on the requirement to establish whether Shaw’s actions were “willful” and whether proof of bad or evil purpose was necessary, or if a reckless disregard for the victim’s bodily integrity would suffice. The judge directed the jury to review the provided instructions regarding this matter.

Scott Shaw, 56, has pleaded not guilty to six federal charges of violating the constitutional rights to “bodily integrity” of four women. He voluntarily left San Jose State University in 2020, more than a decade after initial complaints were made by 17 members of the women’s swim team about his inappropriate touching under their sports bras and underwear. An internal investigation conducted in 2010 cleared Shaw and deemed his “trigger point therapy” as legitimate treatment. He continued working with athletes until a swim coach, concerned for a decade, raised the alarm outside the university. Subsequent investigations were initiated by the Cal State system and the U.S. Department of Justice, revealing more victims and ultimately leading to the charges against Shaw.

As the jury remains deadlocked, the fate of Scott Shaw and the justice sought by the survivors hang in the balance.

Ryan Scott
Author: Ryan Scott

Just a guy

Share on: