US youth volleyball coach accused of raping teenage girls

A 72-page class action lawsuit was filed in federal court on Tuesday in Illinois alleging sexual abuse by a prominent youth volleyball coach against six women, when they were teenagers in the 1980s.

Rick Butler is accused of raping young female athletes, hundreds of times, in locations ranging from his car and his apartment, to the weight room of a gym, and even once on a train during a team trip in Germany, in addition to one teen who he lived with, with her mother.

He's also accused of forcing at least two of the teens to watch pornographic materials, so they could 'learn.' 

The other parties named in the lawsuit are Butler's wife, Cheryl, who is accused of pressuring victims to remain silent, and Sports Performance Volleyball Club in Aurora, Illinois.

The suit was brought by Laura Mullen, individually in her capacity as the parent of a child who trained with Butler at the sports club in 2012, and also of 'no fewer than six underage teenage girls' who he is accused of sexually abusing.

Butler has denied all allegations of sexual assault against him, through his attorney, in an email sent to the Chicago Sun-Times.

A class action lawsuit was filed in federal court on Tuesday in Illinois alleging sexual abuse by youth volleyball coach Rick Butler against six women, when they were teens in the 1980s

A class action lawsuit was filed in federal court on Tuesday in Illinois alleging sexual abuse by youth volleyball coach Rick Butler against six women, when they were teens in the 1980s

Mullen does not allege that Butler assaulted her child in 2012, but instead states that, had she and other parents known 'that a child sexual predator would coach their teenage daughters, they never would have given money to defendants and never would have sent their girls to Sports Performance.'

Not all six of Butler's accusers have been named publicly, but those who have include Christine Tuzi, who was 16 at the time that she alleges she was raped 'hundreds of times' by Butler, resulting in a pregnancy and abortion; Sarah Powers-Barnhard, then-15; Julie Bremner [Romias}, then-16, and Beth Rose, again then-16.

Tuzi has said that Butler took advantage of her desire to make the Team USA Volleyball team, raped and assaulted her both at his home and in public.

The complaint states, after she was lured to Butler's apartment under the pretenses of discussing the Olympic volleyball team, that he raped her for the first time on his waterbed, taking her virginity and paralyzing her with fear.

Butler has repeatedly denied all sexual assault allegations against him

Butler has repeatedly denied all sexual assault allegations against him

'Following this initial encounter was an endless series of "special practices" and avariety of sexual abuse, assault, and rapes in Butler’s car, his apartment, and even the weight room and the gym,' the complaint reads.

'Before practices, [Butler] would shove his hands down her pants so he could |smell her through practice,"' the lawsuit states. 'He told her that any time during practice that he had his hand to his nose, he was thinking of her.'

The complaint states that Butler first raped Bremner during a team trip to Japan in 1987, after mental and physical abuse that started when she was 16. The lawsuit states that Bremner pleaded with him to stop, 'tried to resist and insisted she didn’t believe in sex before marriage,' but that Butler proceeded to rape her, causing her pain and bleeding.

The

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