Ex-NFL CB Shareece Wright suing former HS trainer for sexual assault

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Former NFL cornerback Shareece Wright has publicly identified himself as one of the 12 people coming forward accusing a high school trainer who sexually assaulted them as minors at a Southern California high school.

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Wright, along with six former classmates originally sued the Colton Joint Unified School District and former trainer Tiffany Strauss-Gordon in September of 2022. The number of former students listed as plaintiffs has since doubled.

“The less it’s kept a secret, the harder it is for it to continue to happen,” Wright, now 36, said on an episode of ESPN’s Outside the Lines.

The ex-NFL player, who attended Colton High School (Colton, Calif.) from 2001-05, told ESPN he hopes that speaking out will ultimately “stop it from happening to other kids.”

Wright told ESPN, and also alleged in the lawsuit, that he first got to know Strauss — the daughter of his football coach Harold Strauss — during his freshman football season. Wright was 15 at the time, and Strauss-Gordon was 21. He alleges that the school’s lone athletic trainer was increasingly flirtatious with him, favored him, and gave him a pet nickname. Over the rest of his high school career, he alleges that Strauss-Gordon would touch him inappropriately in the training room, perform oral sex on him — something he alleges players and coaches jokingly referred to as “getting the Tiffany treatment” — and that they had sex several times at her home after team dinners.

“You’ve got football, you’ve got the coach’s daughter, you’ve got a permissive school environment where it’s allowed to happen. I mean, you’ve got sort of a perfect storm of sexual abuse that could be covered up easily,” Wright’s attorney Morgan Stewart, who also represents eight other plaintiffs in the case, told ESPN.

Former teacher Vladimira Chavez filed a police report in 2011. She told Colton PD that she heard the students talking about the alleged sexual behavior — Wright and that she reported it to the superintendent, according to a 2022 interview.

Strauss-Gordon was suspended with pay, but was hired at a different school in the district the next day, according to OTL. In 2022, when Wright and his teammates filed the suit, she was suspended without pay from her job — and remains suspended — as an athletic director from another high school, per OTL.

“Fundamentally, you have to remember that allegations are just allegations,” Strauss-Gordon’s attorney, Daniel Kolodziej, told ESPN. “I would urge the public to recognize that just because there’s smoke doesn’t mean there’s fire.”

“Why do you file a lawsuit? For money,” Strauss-Gordon told police in an August 2022 video when asked by a detective why multiple allegations were made.

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