Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

College Athlete Says Coach Pursued Her for Sex

(CN) - A college student athlete who played for the women's basketball team at Florida International University claims in court that she was sexually harassed and threatened by her coach.

In a federal complaint filed Oct. 13, Destini Feagin says that between April 2015 and March 2016, her coach, Marlin Chinn, engaged in constant contact with members of the basketball team during daily practices and social gatherings, and frequently contacted team members after hours.

As the head coach of FIU's women's basketball team, Feagin claims that Chinn controlled the team's membership, players' positions, playing time and he had the power to grant or deny scholarships to members of the team.

"On multiple occasions, Chinn made unwanted and unwelcome verbal and/or physical sexual advances toward plaintiff individually," the complaint says.

Feagin claims Chinn began sexually harassing her in June 2015, when he told her that "a little birdie told me that you like older men."

Chinn then named Feagin the team's captain and the face of the team on promotional materials used by the University, the complaint says.

Feagin alleges that the sexual harassment continued when Chinn began asking her about her love life, and he "advised her of the techniques she should be familiar with in order to please a man, which included being open-minded, performing oral sex and massages and cooking good meals."

On December 2015, Feagin says that Chinn loaned her $600 to pay the fees for her remedial academic sessions, and after she thanked him for his help he told her "you're going to pay me back, trust me."

According to the complaint, on January 2016 Chinn told Feagin that he was having sexual fantasies about her, and that he wanted to have a sexual relationship with her.

"... During an away game in which the team was staying at a hotel, Chinn called plaintiff in her hotel room and tried to convince her to come to his hotel room under the pretense of discussing basketball," the complaint says.

Feagin claims that Chinn also made constant sexual comments about her and touched her buttocks in the presence of assistant coaches during basketball games.

She claims that in February 2016, Chinn asked her to come to his office and when they were alone he hugged her, kissed her neck and touched her private parts without her consent.

Feagin says later that month, Chinn threatened to remove her from the team because she used a teammate's university meal card without permission, and "explicitly advised her that she would have to have sex with him whether she was on the team or not, but that it might be more appropriate if the player/coach relationship was terminated."

The complaint says Chinn eventually revealed he was married and that he had a child on the way, but that he was "putting everything on the line because of how I feel about you," and he told her that his family had a history of affairs, that it "was in the Chinn blood."

Feagin she reported Chinn's sexual harassment to university president Mark Rosenberg and Julie Berg, the senior associate athletic director, and that she showed them texts and played them an audio recording on which he coach allegedly talks of his desire to have sex with her.

"FIU responded to plaintiff's complaints by retaliating against her by immediately cutting plaintiff from the Basketball Team," the complaint says.

FIU allowed Chinn to continue his duties as head coach despite Feagin's complaints of sexual harassment, and only after the story was reported in the media he was terminated.

Feagin alleges FIU discriminated against her after she complained of Chinn's harassment, and that as the spring graduation approached the university had not reached any decision regarding her case.

Feagin seeks compensatory damages on claims of sexual discrimination, battery, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, negligent supervision and negligent retention.

She is represented by Stuart Kaplan from Kaplan Sconzo & Parker PA in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Maydel Santana, a spokeswoman for Florida International University, said the university does not comment on ongoing litigation.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.