Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association, school district named in abuse suit

Apr 10, 2018

 


The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association are facing charges related to sexual abuse committed by a former hockey coach.

Two years ago, former Soldotna hockey coach Brad Elliot was arrested on 34 felony counts, including sexual abuse of a minor and possession of child pornography. Two brothers came forward with their stories in 2016. Now, three more former hockey players have filed suit against Elliot, the district and the hockey association. None of the victims are named in court documents, but all played hockey at SoHi, and are in their mid to late 20’s.

The suit was filed in February. The district and KPHA face counts of negligent hiring, training and supervision, while Elliot faces more counts of sexual abuse of a minor. The plaintiffs have been granted a protective order. Elliot was denied a request to stay the proceedings on March 13th.

The suit describes Elliot as having groomed the boys, drawing them into sexual relationships that were kept secret, and that the school district should have known that predators are themselves drawn to youth sports programs. It also alleges that the defendants failed to properly warn, train or educate the plaintiffs, their parents, employees, volunteers and other students about how to avoid such risks. It was through his association with the school district and KPHA, the suit says, that Elliot was able to groom the plaintiffs and sexually abuse and exploit them.

In the 2016 case, it was learned that Elliot had been abusing athletes since at least 2002.

The plaintiffs are seeking more than $100,000 in the case. The date of the next proceeding is yet to be determined. The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association couldn’t be reached for comment. Calls for a comment from the school district were referred to the 2016 case, when district spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff said the district began conducting more rigorous background checks for volunteers for the 2009-2010 school year.