Young woman suing Amherst Regional High School, town over rape by volunteer coach

Staff Writer
Published: 11/24/2020 4:34:53 PM

AMHERST — An Amherst woman is suing the town’s public schools, the town and her assailant for continued emotional distress from being sexually assaulted and raped by a former volunteer assistant varsity basketball coach at Amherst Regional High School.

The Hampshire Superior Court lawsuit, filed earlier this month on behalf of the Amherst graduate by attorneys Anthony Facchini and Robert Rzewszutek of Facchini & Facchini PC in Springfield, states that their client has permanent emotional injuries, social discomfort and loss of enjoyment of life due to the actions of Anthony Florio Jr.

Florio pleaded guilty in January 2019 to multiple child abuse charges stemming from incidents involving the woman when she was a student at the high school between September 2016 and April 2017.

“Amherst Pelham Regional School District’s failure to adequately protect the plaintiff was the direct and proximate cause of her being sexually assaulted and raped by the defendant,” the lawsuit states.

While the lawsuit names the woman, the Gazette does not generally identify victims or alleged victims of sexual assault.

The civil complaint, which seeks a jury trial, contains five counts apiece against the schools and the town and six counts against Florio.

The counts against the schools and town include negligence, negligent hiring, retention and supervision, negligent infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium, specifically the destruction of her relationship with her family. The counts against Florio include intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium.

Debbie Westmoreland, director of communication and operations for the school district, wrote in an email that the district would not comment on the lawsuit. Town Manager Paul Bockelman referred questions to the schools.

Florio pleaded guilty to enticement of a child under 16, for which he was sentenced to three to five years in state prison. Florio was also sentenced to six years’ probation on the child rape charge, as well as six years’ probation on each of three counts of disseminating obscene materials harmful to a minor.

During probation, conditions include having to register as a sex offender, being subject to GPS monitoring and having no contact with individuals under the age of 16 without supervision, with the exception of his son.

Florio was arrested May 9, 2017, following two seasons as a volunteer coach for the school’s varsity boys basketball team.

Florio had undergone a criminal background check through the Criminal Offender Record Information system, as is customary for anyone with unsupervised access to high school students, according to a statement from then-high school Principal Mark Jackson.




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2020 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy