Four sex abuse victims are suing the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) for allegedly failing to protect them from Renoir Valenti, the Lancaster youth soccer coach convicted of molesting 14 boys, six of whom played on AYSO soccer teams.
The sexual abuse civil lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of four unnamed plaintiffs, according to attorneys Paul Mones and Irwin Zalkin. [View the complaint here.]
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs were all sexually abused by Valenti, who came in contact with them as a commissioner, youth soccer coach and/or referee in the AYSO.
The complaint alleges that AYSO had a duty to protect the plaintiffs and knew or should have known that Valenti was a danger to children in his care and that his behavior and actions violated AYSO policies.
Those actions included Valenti’s “behavior at games wherein he inappropriately touched boys, his submitting and paying for registrations of boys that were not his biological children, his bringing boys not related to him to games that he coached or refereed, his transporting boys that were not his biological children to and from AYSO soccer games and or practices, and his having AYSO soccer players at his house for parties, dinners, sleep-overs,” the complaint alleges.
The lawsuit claims that the plaintiffs suffered “great pain of mind and body, physical injury, shock, emotional distress, physical manifestations of emotional distress, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, disgrace, humiliation, and loss of enjoyment of life.” It seeks an unspecified amount in damages from the AYSO. [View the complaint here.]
AYSO has reportedly declined to comment on the lawsuit.
According to its website, “The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) is the oldest national youth soccer program in the United States… Consisting of over 50,000 teams and 500,000 players nationwide, AYSO is one of the leading youth soccer organizations in the world.
Valenti was an AYSO soccer coach and/or referee from 1994 to 2012 in Lancaster, Quartz Hill and Palmdale, according to Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami, who prosecuted the criminal case.
During the 35-day criminal trial, which began Jan. 22, 2014, Antelope Valley jurors heard testimony from 58 witnesses, including all of Valenti’s victims. The young boys’ stories were similar. They were drawn to Valenti because he lavished them with gifts and took them on trips; they often spent nights at Valenti’s home; and Valenti showered them with hugs and kisses, which then progressed to something more. The disturbing testimony on the sexual abuse ranged from accounts of genital fondling to attempted rape.
Valenti was found guilty of multiple felony and misdemeanor sex crimes, including five felony counts of continuous child sexual abuse, four felony counts of lewd act upon a child and six misdemeanor counts of child molestation. He was sentenced in April 2014 to 130 years to life in state prison.
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18 comments for "Victims molested by local soccer coach file lawsuit against AYSO"
I have a solution…. since all the gangbangers here in the AV are such bad shooters because they end-up hitting everyone EXCEPT their target, turn him over to them to use as target practice….
This loser used to bring those poor kids into Burger King every weekend. He was there all the time, he would get upset if we forgot any of his food, but not regular upset he used to drive back through drive thru the opposite way and demand his sauces. Sad thing is he ALWAYS had kids with him. I mean I am talking kids around, with him, always near him, since I was 22 thats 9 years ago! How many kids did this jerk really molest???
I think the parents are responsible for allowing such behavior. I don’t remember ever spending the night at my coaches house or even being touched. My parents were always around.
You have good parents
A lot of parents these days like to drop there kids off at practice and games; the parents figure they can use these practices and games as RR for themselves. Guess what Parents; you are leaving your child unattended for anything to happen. Unfortunately something did happen, and now they decide to sue AYSO for there negligence. ONLY in America.
The parents are at fault. I hope that when they look themselves in the mirror they will feel nothing but guilt for allowing that man access to these children. SHAME on YOU! I hooe this is a HUGE learning lesson parents. Do NOT leave your children alone with anyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It amazes me how many parents just simply drop their kids off at practice and leave their kids as meat for these predictors. Discusting!!!
Gotta love Americas greed. Some attorney caught wind of this story and thought he would make a paycheck by suing a large organization, so he naturally recruited the parents with visions of dollar signs. Now the poor kids have to go through hell AGAIN by being put on the stand. Shameless and embarrassing.
Lawyers in Love says
to be truthful I am shocked that Parris isn’t handling it. He is suing two VFW posts in the AV over a baseball game incident.
Lawyers in Love says
it is terrible and tragic that the kids will have to relive this.
My Son played soccer with his boys back in the day. Yes I felt that he preyed on the single Moms out on the soccer field. He knew what he was doing by getting close to those Mom’s. He knew he would be able to have access to their kids. He always seeked the single Mom’s who seemed weak and vulnerable. I just wish I was not so naïve so I could alert some of these Mom’s whom I befriended back then when we spent many afternoon and weekends on the soccer field. Hindsight is 20/20. I can only wish I would have listened to my gut. I tell my college kids all the time to listen to their gut. If your gut says he is a creep more than likely that person is a creep.
parents wake up says
Parents need to be vigilant! Molesters come in forms -soccer coaches, teachers, pediatricians, volunteers, assistants, judges, attorneys, police, principals, and the list goes on and on. Letting your child spend the night at a mans home— who does that? There were never red flags to any of you? Wake up and protect your children by means of common sense! This monster will get what is coming to him in jail-all molesters do.
So the parents of these victims allowed their children to be taken to and from games, have registration paid and be invited over to a man’s house and they blame the soccer organization for failing to protect their children? What about a parent’s duty to protect and, to be aware of what is going on?
I am sure they thought it was wonderful that this man was doing all this for their kids, and didn’t even bother to question or investigate. Some of the blame lays at their feet on this.
Another question is did anyone complain to the AYSO about inappropriate behavior? Were they made aware of rules violations? It sounds like the parents allowed the sleep-overs, registration being paid etc. since it benefited them and turned a blind eye to the violation UNTIL after all this blew up. Why didn’t someone report this man right away? It might have stopped all this a little sooner.
Subtract the molestation and creepier elements from the list of activities, it is pretty standard fare for a youth league coach.
How many of you know a few kids that could benefit from youth sports, yet have parents unable to make it happen? Some people take the role of coach much farther than just the hour spent practicing on the field.
The real shame is the many good AYSO/Pony League/Etc. coaches that are now going to get a much harsher degree of inspection due to one sick person betraying trust.
Suing this organization for financial damages is not helping any children either.
Yes it might be standard for youth couches but if it is against the rules as the suit seems to claim, then the parents themselves allowed this to happen by not following them as well. Yes part of the claim is for bad behavior on the coach’s end such as touching etc. but it also names things like paying for and transporting non-biological children. Those rules are there for a reason, but the parents choose to ignore them because it benefited them. The AYSO cannot be held accountable for these activities if the parents themselves disregarded them. Had the AYSO been informed of bad behavior and did nothing, there is a chance they could be held responsible but the parents themselves broke the rules as well.
I don’t put my kids in sports or boy scouts. My mom always told me, “It takes one man to hurt them and change their life forever. Whenever there are men who like to be around kids…it’s your first sign” My mom had an eighth grade education but she is one smart chick. I followed that rule and saved my kids from ever being a victim of some sick guy. Don’t trust your kids with ANYONE!!!!!
How would the AYSO know or how should they have known he was a danger to children? Also I my self have paid for kids, transported kids to and from football, and had sleepovers at my house that doesn’t mean that I’m a child predator. My question is where is your parents responsibility in this? They allowed you to stay the night at that man’s house why would they do such a thing they should’ve knew that because he was transporting these kids and because he was paying for these other children to play soccer and because he was having sleepovers that he was a sex offender? Anything to sue. I get that you were sexually assaulted I get that you’re hurt but somethings you just don’t have control over and AYSO has no control of the fact that he molested you. Sue your parents for not telling you no and for not keeping you safe. SMH
A child molester????, here in the Antelope Valley??!! How unusual,,, does this type of thing happen often here in the good old Antelope Valley??, Wow,, what a mind blower!
Just Saying says
There blows Bad-Mouth Bob again. So sorry that you have to put up with your own miserable existence.