A man who claims he was molested by a former Seal Beach sports camp owner is suing his alleged abuser and a Long Beach private school.
The 23-year-old plaintiff is identified only as Stephen W. in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that names as defendants Scott Durzo and the Westerly School of Long Beach, which offers elementary and middle school education.
The suit filed Monday alleges sexual abuse of a minor, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages.
Patrick Brown, head of the Westerly School, said Tuesday he had not seen the lawsuit. However, he said the school takes such allegations seriously and will respond appropriately after the complaint is served.
Durzo, now 50, is the founder of the long-running Seal Beach-based Scott Durzo’s Total Sport Camp. He is awaiting trial in Orange County Superior Court on 20 counts alleging lewd acts with a child.
According to the lawsuit, Durzo was director of Westerly’s after-school sports program in 2008-09. The plaintiff worked as an assistant in the program and was supervised by Durzo, according to the complaint.
Durzo began “grooming” Stephen W. in the fall of 2008 by showering him with gifts and personal favors, the suit alleges. Durzo’s goal was to “get Stephen W. to trust him so he could then sexually exploit, manipulate and abuse him,” the plaintiff alleges.
Westerly teachers and administrators began commenting on the “inappropriate amount of time” Durzo was spending the with plaintiff both on and off campus, but did not investigate the relationship, the suit alleges.
The plaintiff, then 16 years old and having difficulties in his personal life, was vulnerable as Durzo escalated his “touchy, feely” behavior to outright sexual molestation, the lawsuit alleges.
The number of times Durzo abused Stephen W. are “too numerous to count, but averaged several times per week,” according to the complaint, which does not state where the alleged molestations occurred.
The alleged abuses stopped when the plaintiff left his job at the school at the end of the 2008-09 school year, the suit says.
Durzo was not rehired for the next school year, possibly because other complaints against him surfaced concerning other minors, according to the suit. Stephen W. says he did not tell anyone until he confided in his parents in 2014.
They reported what their son told them to Seal Beach police, who affixed a wireless microphone to the plaintiff during a meeting with Durzo in which his former supervisor admitted sexually abusing him, the suit alleges.
— Wire reports