In His Own World: Autism, Wandering, Worry
IACC's Insel Lives!!!

William Coats, Clover Park School District Attorney, Says Disabled 11 Year Old Girl Not Affected By Sexual Assault

William coatsBy Kim Stagliano

Not every story on Age of Autism deals directly about autism. Sometimes we just profile the sheer stupidity and callous disregard of people who should know better.  We did this a few months ago with a State Senator who made a joke of vaccine injury.  On camera. His office read our post and apologized. We ran the apology. No need to link any of it here. Water under the bridge.

Today's  subject is one William Coats, attorney at Vandeberg, Johnson & Gandara law firm, and attorney for the Clover Park School District in Washington State. A family was awarded three quarters of a million dollars in a sexual assault case involving their ELEVEN year old daughter with special needs. Mr. Coats failed to see how an assault could possibly harm a girl whose IQ is below 70. As if low IQ, cognitive deficits, mental retardation, call it what you will, means no emotions or feelings or basic humanity.  It does not.

The district admitted it was negligent in its supervision of the boy, but its attorneys argued at trial that the girl deserved damages of no more than $50,000.

“Given her cognitive ability, it is unlikely the girl experienced many of the psychological issues customarily associated with sexual assault, such as feeling guilty or damaged,” the district’s attorney, William Coats, wrote in his trial brief.

The attack occurred Jan. 28, 2011, at Lochburn Middle School.

The girl, then 11, was having lunch in the school cafeteria when the boy, then 13, pulled her into a bathroom and sexually assaulted her while two other boys watched, court records show.

The boy, also developmentally disabled, later told school officials he’d pulled down the girl’s pants and “touched his private area to her private area,” even as she asked him to stop, the records show.

The girl emerged from the bathroom visibly upset a few minutes later and told a school employee what happened.

Two months before, school officials found the boy in a bathroom engaged in sexual touching with another boy.

As a result of that incident, the 13-year-old boy was prohibited from using student bathrooms and “could only use the nurse’s bathroom under supervision,” court records show.


Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2015/07/12/3910845_sexually-assaulted-girl-wins-754000.html?rh=1#storylink=cpTo make matters worse - the assailant was a boy with special needs. Clearly unsupervised and with predatory sexual behaviors that would have required eyes on arms length supervision, this was not his first transgression.


If Mr. Coats' daughter or granddaughter had been molested, would he be so dismissive of her feelings? I doubt it.

Read the story at The News Tribune here - it's a story of school based negligence first and foremost.  Liability.  Monetary loss. It's what makes crummy schools change their ways. Makes companies produce safer products. Which brings us back around to one of our major focuses of Age of Autism after all.

As a Mom whose daughter was assaulted on a school bus - my heart goes out to this family. Money doesn't buy happiness and it never erases painful memories.  I hope Mr. Coats rethinks his strategy next time he tries to save his client a few bucks.

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor for Age of Autism.

Comments

Angus Files

“Given her cognitive ability, it is unlikely the girl experienced many of the psychological issues customarily associated with sexual assault, such as feeling guilty or damaged,” the district’s attorney, William Coats, wrote in his trial brief."

Soo that makes it OK to sexually assault disabled people Mr Coates? That's similar to the psychological profile of pedos where they think ,that they have never harmed anyone,no one...and your endorsing that sick in the head, pedo profile...

MMR RIP


MMR RIP


Denise Anderstrom Douglass

Oh, man... This lawyer William Coats must have an IQ over 70 or he wouldn't have passed the bar exam. What this person glaringly lacks is any sign that he posesses a moral compass! I so agree with Researcher, whoever you are.

Sun~Rose

Now it's time to sue Coats. What an awful thing to say. And good thing the boy got no further. That was awful enough for her. Sending the little girl a mental hug. I hope the parents do lots of happy things with her. And I wish they'd take her to the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential.

Barry

The only thing more disturbing than this assholes's point of view, is that there aren't 300 angry parents currently raging outside this guys front door.

I don't think there's a generation of parents, who have failed their children more than we have.

We just carrying on "blogging", as if THAT is somehow going to fix this.

Jenny

According to his logic, I guess it shouldn't be a big deal if doctors, nurses, or aids, take sexual advantage of alzheimers or dementia patients, or any patient under anesthesia who may not remember being abused and have he definition of required emotions. He looks to be getting up in age himself, I wonder if he would be okay with someone treating him or his wife like that?

Talk about callous disregard . . .

Researcher

OMG. She obviously had a high enough IQ to ask him to STOP, to be "visibly upset," and to tell a school official.

Perhaps William Coats needs to spend some time in prison, so that he has an idea of what this child experienced?

nhokkanen

Mr. Coats' vile comments merely call his own cognitive abilities into question.

Having someone of his profound insensitivity involved in school district decision-making is beyond appalling.

melissa

Perhaps William Coats is immune to feeling but I am certain the young girl is not. What an Ass-hat.

Jen

So it's open season on abuse of children with autism? What a despicable and sick person William Coats is! Vandeberg, Johnson and Gandara should be ashamed of themselves. As someone who works with special needs children, I can't even believe this has happened.

Bob Moffitt

“Given her cognitive ability, it is unlikely the girl experienced many of the psychological issues customarily associated with sexual assault, such as feeling guilty or damaged,” the district’s attorney, William Coats, wrote in his trial brief."

If I were on the jury weighing the amount of compensation to award this traumatized child .. I would add an additional million for the attorney's vicious attempt to dehumanize the victim .. his words no less a weapon than had he participated in the original attack.

If that school district continues to employ this man .. they are no less guilty then he is

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)