EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Title IX lawsuit filed against Westminster College, women’s soccer coach

Mar 9, 2023, 3:02 PM

A female student at Westminster College has filed a Title IX lawsuit against the college and women'...

FILE: Westminster College in Salt Lake City is pictured on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A female student at Westminster College has filed a Title IX lawsuit against the college and women’s soccer coach Tony LeBlanc.

Title IX is part of the Education Amendments of 1972. It protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs that receive funding from the federal government.

In court documents, the student alleges that she and other female soccer players “were involved and subjected to what is known as the ‘hot seat.'”

According to court documents, the hot seat was at the front of a bus used by players and staff. The seat was reportedly directly across from LeBlanc’s seat.

While sitting in “the hot seat,” the defendant alleges that freshman and transfer players were asked “highly offensive and intrusive questions about their personal sex lives” while a spotlight was aimed at them.

The questioning is described in the lawsuit as an initiation ritual, one in which the student alleges LeBlanc took part.

The plaintiff said that she was subjected to the hot seat in April 2021. Court documents further allege that Westminster delayed filing the plaintiff’s Title IX complaint.

The lawsuit also alleges that LeBlanc retaliated against the plaintiff by benching her. The plaintiff then filed a retaliation complaint against LeBlanc.

When asked for comment, Westminster College provided the following statement:

Westminster College takes sexual harassment complaints seriously. The college maintains the privacy of any student’s complaints and/or investigations and will respect the legal process. 

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Title IX lawsuit filed against Westminster College, women’s soccer coach