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Monday, April 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Harassment Suits Pile Up Against Softball Coach

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CN) - A recently fired college softball coach charged with sexually abusing his players faces four civil lawsuits, and more are coming, an attorney pledged.

Todd Krouner, an attorney in Chappaqua, is behind all four federal complaints filed in the past couple of days against former Nyack College softball coach Kurt Ludwigsen.

The young women Krouner represents, named in the Oct. 2 and Oct. 5 lawsuits as A. Doe, E. Doe, K. Doe and S. Doe each say 44-year-old Ludwigsen subjected them to "outrageous conduct" during the 2014-15 academic school year.

Such activity included "routinely licking his players' ears, kissing their lips and faces, slapping their buttocks, grabbing their breasts, directing them to sit on his lap, [and] lying on top of them," the complaint states.

The complaints come six months after Rockland officials arrested Ludswigen. Nyack College had fired the coach a month earlier after players reported his behavior, according to news reports.

In addition to 94 counts of forcible touching and 94 counts of third-degree sexual assault, Ludswigen faces seven counts of felony coercion and two counts of harassment.

Having pleaded not guilty, Ludswigen faces an appearance before Judge William Kelly in Rockland County Supreme Court on Nov. 4.

The lawsuits say Ludwigsen offered to help the women on his team launch porn careers, and that he even invited porn star Allie Haze to a softball practice so that she could provide life-counseling sessions.

For Krouner, this allegation is overshadowing the rest, as the media dig into whether Haze's counseling was aimed at encouraging players to ask about her sexual history and pursue the adult-entertainment industry, or was simply self-empowering girl talk.

"What's more important here are all of the criminal sexual assaults and damages to the members of that team, and how they have impacted their ability to pursue academic and social activities at Nyack College free of sexual discrimination and sexual harassment," Krouner said in an interview.

The complaints allege that Nyack College, which markets itself as "New York's Christian College," did nothing to protect the students from Ludwigsen's sexual harassment, even though much of it happened in plain view of the college's athletic director and assistant athletic director.

Alleging that the negligence goes back even farther, the suits note that Nyack College chose to hire Ludwigsen despite "publicly available information" that showed "he was the subject of a criminal investigation for sexual assault" while coaching at a California college.

Nyack College meanwhile has emphasized that it fired Ludwigsen as soon as it heard of the alleged assault.

"From the time Nyack College learned of these allegations and immediately terminated the coach, college personnel have fully cooperated with law enforcement authorities," the school said in a statement. "All faculty and staff hired by the college are subjected to a rigorous background check including a check of sex offender databases."

In addition to Nyack College and Ludwigsen, the suits name as defendants college president Michael Scales, executive vice president David Jennings, athletic director Keith Davie, assistant athletic director Amanda Aikens and former assistant coach Kirsten Lambertson.

Nyack College noted that its first whiff of the complaint was a copy provided by the New York Post on Friday.

"The college has not been served with the lawsuit," the college said Monday.

David Goldstein, an attorney who is representing Ludwigsen in the criminal case, has not returned a request for comment.

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