Don’t “bully,” judge tells jurors in San Jose State athletic trainer’s sexual assault case

A day after jurors deliberating on the fate of a former San Jose State athletic trainer accused of sexually assaulting female athletes hit a “rough patch” and ended deliberations early, the federal judge in the case admonished them Thursday to “not bully or antagonize other jurors.”

U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman also told the eight women and four men who returned to court that “the jury room is very small” and offered them an empty courtroom. Even that seemed to divide at least a couple of jurors, with the foreman pleading for more space and another saying they didn’t need it.

The latest instructions from the judge came at the start of the fourth day of deliberations in the trial over whether Scott Shaw touched former athletes inappropriately under their sports bras and underwear, or whether doing so was medically legitimate treatment.

The commotion offered a rare glimpse into secret jury deliberations in a case that shook San Jose State University. The scandal forced the resignations of the university’s president and athletic director, who were left trying to explain why its director of Sports Medicine, who had been accused of sexually abusing 17 swimmers under the guise of treatment in 2009, was still working with athletes a decade later. Shaw, 56, has pleaded not guilty to six federal civil rights charges alleging violations of the constitutional rights to “bodily integrity” of four former athletes who filed complaints within the five-year statute of limitations since 2017. Shaw left the university voluntarily in 2020.

Before returning them to the jury room, the judge urged each juror to reach a “sincerely held conclusion” and to resist “pressure from other jurors.”

If the jury does not reach a decision by the end of Thursday, they will take the day off on Friday and return on Monday. The jury had requested the break to accommodate one of the jurors’ schedule.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply