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SHS To Pay $3.5-million Settlement In Emerald Case

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Sonora, CA — Sonora High School will pay $3.5 million in a settlement agreement to the former student who was the victim of sexual crimes carried out by former girl’s basketball coach Amy Emerald.

The agreement was released by the attorneys representing the unnamed victim, Lewis and Llewellyn, LLP out of San Francisco. The victim was a student on Emerald’s team. The settlement will be paid by an insurance policy the district carries. The lawsuit, first reported on earlier this month, argued that the crimes started in 2011, and district staff had meetings with Emerald about complaints in 2013, but red flags brought forward by students were not taken seriously. The lawsuit mentions former Principal Todd Dearden, then Superintendent Mike McCoy, and retired Athletic Director Rick Francis. The victim later told her family about the crimes in 2019 and Emerald was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison in 2020.

An attorney for the plaintiff, Ryan Erickson, stated earlier, “Our client’s primary reason for bringing this lawsuit has always been ensuring that what happened to her never happens again to any child in the Sonora community.”

The lawsuit was in relation to the district’s mishandling of the situation.

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