Mater Dei High School football coaches and players called it “Hell Week,” a series of twice-daily practices as the Monarchs prepared for football season shortly before the start of the 1987 school year.
Because of the training schedule and in an effort to build up team chemistry, players and other students who worked with the team, managers, trainers, stat crew members slept one night at the Mater Dei gymnasium.
It was on one of the Hell Week nights that Patrick Callahan, an assistant football coach to Mater Dei, allegedly led a 17-year-old stat girl, a student at the school, to the nearby Monarchs football field and raped her, according to a civil suit filed Thursday against Mater Dei and the Diocese of Orange in Orange County Superior Court.
Callahan repeatedly sexually assaulted the girl for years in various places on the Mater Dei campus, at social functions and in local restaurants, often in the presence of other Mater Dei coaches, according to a court file. The lawsuit also alleges that Callahan repeatedly served the girl alcohol in the presence of other Mater Dei coaches.
The suit does not state whether the other coaches knew that Callahan was sexually assaulting the girl. The suit also does not mention the other coaches who were allegedly present when the girl was served alcohol.
“The importance is that another victim of abuse in Mater Dei has come forward to expose the culture of abuse and cover-up that is rampant in Mater Dei’s athletics and its community,” said Michael Reck, a lawyer for the woman. .
Over a period of years beginning in 1985 when the girl was 16, Callahan “sexually abused (the) Plaintiff numerous times during the Plaintiff’s years as a student at (Mater Dei),” the lawsuit said. The Orange County Register will not name the woman due to the nature of the charges.
When asked about the lawsuit on Thursday, Callahan said, “I have no comment on that.”
He denied having sex with underage girls while coaching at Mater Dei. Callahan, who later worked as an assistant coach at Dodge City Community College in Kansas, said he was unaware of the Orange County Diocese making payments to the plaintiff in the lawsuit filed Thursday.
Diocese spokesman Tracey Kincaid said: “We have not yet formally received the complaint and in general we do not comment on pending lawsuits.”
The lawsuit was filed against the background of an investigation commissioned by Mater Dei by a Sacramento law firm into the culture of the school’s football and athletic programs.
The investigation commissioned by then-President of Mater Dei, Father Walter Jenkins, on Nov. 30 was in response to an Orange County Register report detailing an alleged hazing incident involving the Monarchs football team. A current Mater Dei football player punched a teammate, 50 pounds lighter than him, in the face three times during an alleged hazing ritual called “Body” on Feb. 4, 2021, as some Monarchs players yelled racial swear words at the smaller player, according to two videos. of the altercation obtained by the Register.
The lawsuit filed Thursday alleges negligent supervision, negligent detention and negligent supervision of the plaintiff, then a minor.
Callahan, who also worked at Mater Dei as an assistant track and field coach, later coached football and track and field at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, and served as an assistant football coach at Cerritos College.
Callahan was sentenced to two years in prison in 2006 for falsifying government documents to obtain more than $150,000 in federal grants for athletes who did not qualify for financial aid.
Callahan admitted to fraudulently obtaining federal funding for 13 Cerritos football players between July 1999 and March 2004, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
The assault charges are filed under a California law that allows victims of sexual abuse to finally confront their perpetrators and the organizations that protect predators in court.
Assembly Act 218, which was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019 and took effect on January 1, 2020, created a three-year period to file previous claims that had expired according to the statute of limitations. The bill, drafted by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), also extends the statute of limitations for reporting childhood sexual abuse from ages 26 to 40. The period for delayed reasonable discovery is also increased from three to five years. The law requires plaintiffs to meet with a mental health practitioner and receive a certificate of merit to file under AB218. The woman has received a certificate of merit, Reck said.
Under current California law, alleged survivors must file a civil suit within eight years of coming of age or three years from the date an adult survivor “discovered” or should have discovered that they had been sexually abused.
Under the 2019 law, suspects cannot be publicly identified in complaints until the judge formally accepts the case. However, the first filings may list the addresses of defendants. The addresses of the diocese and Mater Dei are both listed for the two defendants in Thursday’s file. Reck also confirmed that Mater Dei and the diocese are mentioned in court files.
The girl first met Callahan at a job camp on the Mater Dei campus in 1984, according to the indictment. In the months that followed, Callahan nursed her for sexual abuse, the indictment said. Callahan reportedly began sexually abusing her in 1985, when she was 16, Reck said.
Callahan “prosecutor sexually assaulted, assaulted and abused on property owned, operated, and managed by defendants (Diocese of Orange) and (Mater Dei), including, but not limited to, on the (Mater Dei) school campus said a court filing.
As an assistant to Callahan and Mater Dei, the girl, the suit claims, “was forced to accompany Callahan to various athletic events hosted by or sponsored by (Mater Dei). These athletic events were both on and off the (Mater Dei) high school campus. during the day and night, and include dinners at restaurants and other locations in California where alcohol was served to Plaintiff by (Callahan) and where other coaches and agents of (Mater Dei) were present.At these dinners, the PERFORMER sexually assaulted the Complainant while they sat at the table with the other coaches and agents of (Mater Dei) present.
“In his capacity as track coach and/or assistant football coach of (Mater Dei), DADERE often gave alcohol to the plaintiff, then a minor, for consumption,” the indictment said.
“Why did Mater Dei, why did the adults present not raise a red flag in these times?” said Rec.
The diocese has been aware of the allegations since 2011, when officials agreed to pay for the woman’s counseling, Reck said.
“Why didn’t the diocese say anything?” said Rec.
Long-time Mater Dei head football coach Bruce Rollinson was not named in the suit. He was then an assistant coach on the staff.