LAS VEGAS (AP) — Eight women who were taught by a former USA Gymnastics coach now facing lewdness and sexual assault charges are suing the Las Vegas gym where he trained them from 2009 to 2015.
A civil negligence and liability lawsuit filed Tuesday in Nevada state court accuses Brown’s Gymnastics Las Vegas and gym owner Dayna Waroe of ignoring what the court filing alleges was a pattern of abuse by coach Terry Gray of girls as young as 13.
“Under Nevada law, Terry Gray was an employee of Brown’s Gym, supervised by Dayna Waroe, and a certified member of USAG when he injured plaintiffs,” said Tracy Eglet, attorney for the women now ages 18 to 26.
A woman who answered the phone at the gym on Friday said Waroe no longer owns the business.
Waroe, reached by telephone by the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a Wednesday report, said she had not seen the lawsuit and declined to comment.
Gray is not named as a defendant in the civil case seeking monetary damages that could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars from the gym and Waroe.
Gray's attorney, Nicholas Wooldridge, declined to comment about the civil or criminal cases.
Gray pleaded not guilty in October in Clark County District Court to a 45-count indictment stemming from allegations by 10 women, including lewdness with a child under 14 and sexual assault.
A trial scheduled next month was postponed Thursday amid a court backlog created by coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Gray is free on bond pending trial.
At least six alleged victims identified in the criminal case by their initials also are plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit.
The Associated Press is not identifying them because it generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, without specific permission.
Gray was suspended by USA Gymnastics after Las Vegas police began investigating reports he improperly touched, kissed and fondled gymnasts under age 14 — sometimes while acting as a spotter to catch them during physical routines — and that he had a sexual relationship with a teen girl.
A USA Gymnastics spokeswoman said in a statement Friday that Gray has been permanently banned from membership for violating the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympics and Paralympics.
In court filings seeking dismissal of criminal charges, Wooldridge accused prosecutors in Las Vegas of improperly invoking in their presentation to a grand jury a USA Gymnastics scandal that developed in 2015 around disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Nassar is now in prison for what could amount to the rest of his life.
He was accused of molesting hundreds of female athletes, often under the guise of medical treatment, while he worked for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.
Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography and faces multiple additional sentences of decades in Michigan state prison for sexual abuse and assault convictions.