Former San Jose State trainer charged with touching female athletes

An exterior view of San Jose State University
A former sports medicine director at San Jose State is accused of sexual misconduct with four female athletes.
(Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)

Federal prosecutors charged a former sports medicine director at San Jose State with civil rights violations after he allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with female student-athletes under the guise of treating them for their injuries.

Scott Shaw, 54, who served as the university’s athletic trainer, is charged with violating the civil rights of four students who played on women’s athletics teams by allegedly touching their breasts and buttocks without their consent and without a legitimate purpose between 2017 and 2020.

Shaw, as an employee of the California State University system, is further alleged to have acted under color of law when he sexually assaulted the victims.


In Shaw’s case, the victims are all female athletes on the university’s team rosters. He faces a maximum of six years in prison if convicted of all counts.

In November, San Jose State announced that it had reached a $3.3-million settlement with 15 former student-athletes who had accused the longtime sports trainer of subjecting them to sexual touching.

The payout follows a federal civil rights investigation that found San Jose State did not take adequate action in response to the athletes’ reports and retaliated against two employees who raised repeated concerns to the university about Shaw.

Allegations against Shaw date to December 2009, when several female student athletes reported that the trainer had touched their breasts, groins, buttocks and/or pubic areas during treatment that was described to them as “trigger-point therapy” or “pressure-point therapy,” according to a report released in September by the U.S. Justice Department.

As recently as February 2020, a student alleged improper touching by Shaw, but he continued to work at the university until he retired in August 2020.

Shaw’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. The trainer has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.


Shaw is scheduled to face the charges in U.S. District Court in San Jose on Tuesday.