A second former softball player has sued St. Joseph’s University and its softball team coach, Terri Adams, saying she was forced to endure hazing and was threatened when members of the team believed she was the source of a media report about it. The lawsuit was filed earlier this month in federal court, 16 days after the first hazing lawsuit against the school was filed. Both women, who filed as Jane Does, have the same lawyer.
Like the first lawsuit, this one mentions Adams’s recruitment of the player and how she talked about the “values and integrity of the softball program” before the player enrolled in the fall of 2014. Afterward, the player endured many of the same rituals as described in the first lawsuit: receiving mean letters, being forced to recreate sexual positions and intercourse, putting bananas with condoms on them between their legs , and underage drinking. There also are some new details including:
- Being blindfolded and forced to touch the buttocks of other players, including one buttocks that the lawsuit said was “naked and covered in mayonnaise.” This was allegedly recorded and spread via social media.
- Being forced to stand outside in the freezing cold for at least an hour.
- Being forced to attend mass late at night and told to pray to God for forgiveness for sexual transgressions.
The lawsuit also goes into detail about what happened during an April team trip to George Mason University, which was about the same time as a WPVI-ABC report about the earlier hazing allegations. When the team learned of the report, players allegedly accused her of being “a liar, a mole, a rat” and threatened to hurt her. During pre-game practice, upperclassmen players stole her phone to search for proof the player was communicating with the mother of the former teammate who went on to file the first lawsuit. Afterward, the player went to the bathroom in tears.
A group of teammates followed Plaintiff into the bathroom and continued to harass her calling her a liar and accusing Plaintiff of being responsible for leaking information about the abusive and harassing conduct on the team. After the pre-game practice, Plaintiff was sitting in the dugout obviously distraught. Coach Adams asked Plaintiff to go to the bathroom with her to discuss why Plaintiff was crying. Plaintiff explained the situation and Coach Adams again told Plaintiff numerous times that she was “shady” and that Plaintiff was overreacting. Coach Adams told Plaintiff she was being irrational and stated in an accusative tone words to the effect that “well, obviously one of the freshman are behind it so who is it if it’s not you?”
The lawsuit claims various violations, including Title IX, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.