An Olympia-based youth soccer club will pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit over allegations that a former coach sexually abused a teenage player.
The lawsuit alleged coach David Cross persuaded a 17-year-old girl to have sex with him following years of grooming, and that Black Hills Football Club did nothing to prevent it.
The now 25-year-old woman sued Cross, his wife, and Black Hills Football Club in Thurston County Superior Court in 2015.
The trial began last week. The settlement was reached Monday just before opening statements were set to begin.
Cross was a paid employee with Black Hills for more than a decade. The lawsuit claimed club leaders “knew or should have known” Cross was a danger to minors, but Black Hills’ former president has said officials were unaware of any alleged abuse or wrongdoing until the young woman came forward in 2015.
Prosecutors that year considered bringing criminal charges against Cross but did not because the statute of limitations for first-degree sexual misconduct had run out.
Darrell Cochran, an attorney representing the woman, said the settlement resolves the case against Black Hills but not against Cross and his wife, Kimberly Cross, who were not in court for the trial.
An attorney for Black Hills did not respond to a request for comment from The Olympian.