Mr. Scott Stern – Diocese of St. Petersburg

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2021 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Mr. Scott Stern

Diocese of St. Petersburg/Coach

Assignment History:

  • 1998-1999: Pinellas Park High School (Pinellas Park, FL)
  • 2012-2014: Clearwater Central Catholic High School (Clearwater, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Mr. Scott Stern:

Scott Eugene Stern was a wrestling coach at Clearwater Central Catholic High School in Florida. He coached the school’s varsity and junior varsity wrestling teams. In 2016, Stern was sued by a student who accused him of physical and mental abuse. In 2017, he faced another lawsuit from a former student claiming sexual abuse.

According to both complaints, Stern accused the boys of using illegal drugs and threatened to tell others unless they performed various humiliating acts like reciting literature in the locker room naked. If the student made a mistake, Stern required them to take his clothes off and bend over to hit him with a ruler. They also claim Stern also made them simulate sexual activities and masturbate. The lawsuit suggests that the school knew about Stern’s behavior because he had a similar charge at another area high school, yet they still allowed the coach private access to students. The Diocese of St. Petersburg, which oversees the high school, also was aware.

In 2015, after his time at the high school, Stern served 60 days in jail after pleading no contest to battery charges brought on by two students. According to media reports, the details of the 2014 accusations were similar to the civil complaints. Stern was accused of hitting two students at Clearwater Central Catholic High School.

The first victim, an 18-year-old male, was battered in February 2014. Stern made the victim take off all of his clothes then grabbed him by the throat and groin area while yelling at him as a form of discipline.

The second victim, a 17-year-old male, was abused on several occasions between August 2013 and May 2014. The victim was forced to take off all of his clothes and was struck with a ruler with Stern’s hand on the buttocks. On another occasion, the victim was forced to take off his clothes while Stern conducted a strip search.

According to a 1999 police report, Stern also abused students at another local area high school in Pinellas Park. Stern had one of his wrestling students stand naked with a ruler over his head as a form of “positive image builder.” At the time, Stern was a volunteer wrestling coach at Pinellas Park High School. The police report indicates that he was suspended pending termination.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help.

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