A California athletic trainer whose father was a legendary high school football coach is accused of sexually abusing teen football players dating back more than a decade, according to a recently filed lawsuit.
A group of ex-Colton High School football stars claim the alleged sexual abuse by high school trainer Tiffany Strauss-Gordon persisted even though coaches with the program were suspicious of her behavior, the lawsuit argues.
An attorney for the six players suing Strauss-Gordon and the Colton school system told CBS Los Angeles the sexual abuse of the minors took place all over campus.
“That would include the locker room for the varsity football players, training rooms, weight rooms, classrooms, bathrooms, in vans to football-related events and at a few homes,” lawyer Brian Williams said.
Strauss-Gordon is the daughter of late gridiron coach Harold Strauss, who had a legendary career leading the Yellowjackets and is credited with helping multiple high school athletes move onto professional football. The daughter was a trainer while her father coached the team.
One time when Strauss-Gordon and a player were inside a locker room, Coach Strauss entered and interrupted an alleged sexual assault, the lawsuit reportedly said.
“When Coach Strauss made his way through the locker room, he confronted the two and asked why the lights were off. Gordon made excuses claiming they were closing up and leaving,” CBS LA reported, citing legal papers.
Williams told the news station coaches joked about the trainer’s actions and dubbed it “Tiffany’s special treatment.”
Strauss-Gordon’s alleged inappropriate behavior connected to the legal action took place from 2001-2007 on players whose ages ranged from 14-17, the East Bay Times reported. The lawsuit reportedly claims she had sexual intercourse with and gave oral sex to the teen boys.
“The sheer volume of oral copulation and sexual intercourse occurring between Gordon and the minor student-athletes was not insignificant, and Defendants knew or should have known of the blatant sexual misconduct occurring,” the lawsuit states, according to the newspaper.
Strauss-Gordon additionally sexually pleasured coaches, the suit alleges. One photo from 2005 even showed her giving oral sex to a coach that spread among players, the East Bay Times reported, citing the lawsuit.
Harold Strauss died in 2019 after 30 years of coaching at several different programs.
He was a larger-than-life figure and the most powerful person in the Colton school district, one ex-player, who is part of the lawsuit, told the East Bay Times.
Meanwhile, the Colton school district said it was “very concerned” by the allegations raised in the lawsuit. Strauss-Gordon has been placed on administrative leave, the school said.
“Although the current administrative team members were not in leadership roles with the District 20 years ago, the district leadership team is extremely concerned about the allegations being made,” the school told the East Bay Times.
“Our commitment is always to the safety and well-being of our students, families and staff, and we will work with local law enforcement to protect our community and lend our support to any victims in this case.”
An attorney representing Strauss-Gordon if she faces a criminal charge stressed to the Los Angeles Times no charges have been filed against her.
Lawyer Paul Wallin said being involved with students for more than two decades, there are “no allegations of wrongdoing ever been brought in all that time by any student