Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Tracey Stephen Fulford, a former basketball coach at Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana, California? Our dedicated sexual abuse attorneys are here to help.
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A girls' basketball coach from Southern California has been arrested for having a sexual relationship with one of his student players. Tracey Stephen Fulford, 52, was taken into custody in July 2017 on suspicion of sexual misconduct, according to the Orange County Register.
Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Tracey Stephen Fulford? You are not alone. Our experienced California sex abuse lawyers are here. Our compassionate attorneys understand the painful emotions that sexual abuse can cause. We understand you. You may still be struggling to deal with feelings of shame and anger, depression and fear. These are natural reactions to a terrible trauma. We believe you, and we believe your story matters.
Tracey "Stephen" Fulford is now deceased. He died on August 20, 2018 at the age of 54 after having moved from California to Indianapolis. Prior to his death, Fulford was accused of sexual misconduct and arrested. It is unknown whether he was ever prosecuted for the crimes of which he was accused. He was accused of assaulting at least one underage student at Santa Ana's Segerstrom High School, but police believe there may have been other victims. For these young women, justice has never been done.
Despite Fulford's death, civil action may still be possible. Our compassionate legal team is here to help. If you or a loved one were sexually abused by Tracey Stephen Fulford, you may be eligible to pursue a civil lawsuit against one of the schools where Fulford worked. In police interviews, one of Fulford's young victims told authorities that officials at Segerstrom High School attempted to dissuade her from going to the police. If true, that would be a violation of California law for which the school can be held accountable in civil court.
The case against Fulford began on July 8, 2017, when a 19-year-old young woman and her parents arrived at the Santa Ana Police Department to report a case of sexual abuse. The young woman told police that at the age of 16 she had begun an inappropriate relationship with her high school basketball coach at Segerstrom High in Santa Ana. She identified her coach as Tracey Stephan Fulford, saying that she and Fulford would have sex at various locations in the school's gymnasium during private basketball lessons. The alleged victim continued to say that her relationship with Fulford continued after she turned 18, at which point the two would meet for consensual sex away from the school.
Just as damning, however, were the young woman's allegations against officials at Segerstrom High. In her interview with police officers, the alleged victim said that she had gone to the school's coaching staff to disclose the misconduct a day prior to arriving at the police station, but that school staff members had attempted to discourage her from reporting the alleged abuse. The authorities began an immediate investigation, into both Fulford, who was arrested at his place of employment in Irvine, and the Segerstrom High staff members who had attempted to prevent the victim from stepping forward.
In response to the allegations, the Santa Ana Unified School District released the following statement to parents:
Santa Ana Unified School District was notified July 9, 2017 that Tracy Steven Fulford, a walk-on Basketball coach at Segerstrom High School, was arrested and booked for allegations of sexual misconduct with a former student. These allegations are being taken seriously and are in direct conflict of the District's zero-tolerance policy relating to staff misconduct, in which all district employees are held at the highest ethical standards. This includes reporting any suspicious activity involving abuse or neglect of a child directly to authorities, as mandated by law. Failure to do so is a criminal violation of the law."
The School District continued to suggest that Fulford had passed a rigorous background check before being engaged in employment.
As a sexual assault or abuse survivor in California, you have powerful legal options. We believe that the victims of Tracey Stephen Fulford deserve justice. Despite Fulford's death, you may still be eligible to pursue a private civil lawsuit against additional parties who played a role in the abuse he committed. This is your right as a resident of California.
To learn more about your legal options, contact our dedicated legal team today for a free, confidential consultation. You have nothing to lose. You can learn more about your rights at no charge and no obligation. Just contact our experienced attorneys today.