St. Louis County softball coach claims he didn’t sexually assault 2nd player who accused him: First Alert 4 Investigates
ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV) -- A local softball coach claims he didn’t sexually assault a second teenage player who came forward.
It’s the latest development in the case Aaron Byington is facing.
Reporting by First Alert 4 Investigates last year exposed sworn video testimony of Byington admitting what he did to another young player, who also sued him for sexual abuse.
Byington is the former head coach of the St. Louis Stix, a competitive softball team for girls 18 and under that played out of the Kirkwood Athletic Association (KAA). Byington was also employed by KAA.
In this most recent lawsuit, Byington is being sued by a young woman who goes by Janet Doe to protect her identity. According to Janet Doe’s suit, Byington started grooming her, which then evolved into sexual assault, “forcing her to make contact with his genitals.” Janet Doe’s lawsuit says she was “conditioned, brainwashed and ‘groomed’ to trust Byington to comply with his direction and to respect him as a person of authority.”
Janet Doe claims the abuse started in August 2020 when she was 17 years old and Byington was 36.
Byington’s response to Janet Doe’s lawsuit is one of the latest court filings in the case. In it, he claims he did not sexually abuse Janet Doe, with the words denies and denied appearing a total of 78 times in 10 pages.
Toward the end of Byington’s response, a line says “any physical contact which may have occurred was consensual.”
Last year First Alert 4 Investigates obtained video testimony of Byington in the first lawsuit against him. In that case, he was sued by another St. Louis Stix player using the name Jane Doe to protect her identity. Jane Doe claimed Byington and another coach, Alex Wolters, sexually assaulted her over the course of months. In the lawsuit, Jane Doe claims the abuse started in 2020 with Byington and Wolters each “grooming” her. She said it evolved to “repeated sexual assault that continued for a year.” According to the lawsuit, Jane Doe was 17 years old when she joined the team. Wolters was 27, and Byington was 36.
In Byington’s video deposition for the Jane Doe case, Doe’s lawyer Dan DeFeo asks, “Do you think it’s okay for you to have sexual relationships with your female players?”
Byington responds, “If a female player is of age, a consenting age, then I would say yes.”
During that same testimony, DeFeo questioned Byington about other girls on the team, which would include Janet Doe.
“Have there been other players that you’ve had any kind of sex with, whether it’s kissing, groping, anything?” DeFeo asks.
Byington answers, “No, sir.”
Since Janet Doe’s case was recently filed, no new depositions have been taken.
Janet Doe’s lawsuit also claims Byington groomed girls on the team using a Snapchat group called “Drama queens and one handsome coach.”
In his response, Byington denies those allegations.
First Alert 4 Investigates received a screenshot of the Snapchat group taken by a former player showing Byington’s name and character.
Byington is asking for Janet Doe’s lawsuit to be thrown away.
The first suit against him filed by Jane Doe was settled. The details of that deal are confidential.
Byington has been investigated by St. Louis County police but hasn’t been criminally charged.
Janet Doe is also suing KAA, claiming it turned a blind eye and dismissed all red flags with Byington.
The federal Safe Sport Act establishes there is a “power imbalance” between players and coaches, and they can’t be involved in sexual acts until the player turns 20. This applies to Olympic-affiliated teams, which includes USA Softball events.
In her lawsuit, Janet Doe claims KAA, who Byington also worked for, was a member of USA Softball.
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