In the spring of 1997, a 17-year-old member of the Pomona High School girls track and field team confronted Kitrick Taylor, the team’s coach and a former NFL wide receiver.
Taylor, the girl said according to a court filing, had gotten her pregnant.
Taylor began having sexual intercourse with the girl, referred to as Jane Doe 2 in court documents, a year earlier during a trip to a track meet in Las Vegas when the 33-year-old coach had sex with the girl at a Days Inn motel while Pomona High girls basketball head coach Brian Crichlow had sex with a 16-year-old girl, Jane Doe 1, in the same room in an adjacent bed, according to court records.
Now, the girl told Taylor she needed to “take care of a pregnancy,” according to the filing.
Taylor paid for the abortion and arranged for another Pomona Unified School District employee to drive the girl to the abortion clinic. After the abortion was completed, the employee drove the student back to Pomona High “to attend her remaining classes for the day,” according to court records.
The woman sued Taylor, Crichlow and the Pomona Unified School District in September 2020. A settlement in the case was reached on December 17, 2021.
Yet Taylor and Crichlow continue to work with children and young women.
Taylor currently works at a treatment center for abused and at-risk children between the ages of 6 and 14 while Crichlow is the head women’s basketball coach at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut where he has led the Mounties to California Community College Athletic Association state championships.
Crichlow, Taylor and current Ganesha High School girls basketball head coach Vincent Spirlin have continued to work with young women despite being accused by seven women in the past three years of either having sex with underage female Pomona High School students during the 1990s or witnessing other coaches sexually abusing students and not reporting the abuse, a Southern California News Group investigation has found.
“I’m very concerned,” Natalie Weatherford, an attorney for the women, said, referring to Taylor and Crichlow. “And I’m very concerned with the other coaches who still work with kids and are allowed to keep positions where they have access to kids.”
The men have continued to coach and work with young women, many still in their teens, despite media reports detailing out-of-court settlements in civil suits that alleged Crichlow and Taylor sexually abused underage female students.
The PUSD reached an out-of-court settlement on October 19 with the woman Crichlow allegedly had sex with in Las Vegas in 1997. Three weeks later Crichlow coached Mt. SAC in the first game of his 13th season at the college.
Spirlin continues to coach at the PUSD’s Ganesha High. He coached Ganesha to the 2020 CIF Southern Section 5A title.
Court documents also allege that PUSD administrators, employees and officials were repeatedly made aware of Crichlow, Taylor and other coaches sexually abusing underage girls but took no action.
A former student, referred to as Jane Doe 4 in a lawsuit filed against the PUSD and coaches on October 13, said she informed then Pomona High principal Gloria Russo that she had witnessed Taylor sexually abusing Jane Doe 2 in the school’s boys locker room and that she had been raped by another coach during the same 1997 Las Vegas trip when Crichlow and Taylor allegedly had sex with two girls in the same motel room.
Russo told the girl that she would “take care of it” and that the girl should “speak to no one about this,” according to court records. Russo has since died.
“They decided to protect the coaches over protecting the kids,” Weatherford said.
Crichlow, Spirlin and two other Pomona High School employees were named in a lawsuit filed by three former Pomona High students this week in Los Angeles Superior Court that alleges Crichlow and Spirlin sexually abused them when they attended the school, provided them with alcohol and marijuana on school grounds and Taylor and the two other employees witnessed the abuse.
The suit against the PUSD, Crichlow, Spirlin, and two other coaches is seeking damages arising from childhood sexual abuse.
A woman, identified as Jane Doe 5 in the lawsuit, alleges that Crichlow began sexually abusing her in the fall of 1996 when she was a 14-year-old freshman. Crichlow, according to the suit, had provided the girl with alcohol and marijuana and had sex with her in the locker room and other places on the Pomona High campus during school hours, at the homes of other coaches and other locations around Pomona. Coaches and employees also provided passes that allowed the girl to leave class to meet with Crichlow and that Taylor, Spirlin and two other coaches witnessed the abuse, according to the suit.
The girl left Pomona High after her freshman year, the suit alleges, in part because she was embarrassed about being referred to around the school as “Brian Crichlow’s girlfriend.”
A woman, referred to as Jane Doe 7 in the suit, alleges that Spirlin began sexually abusing her in 1996 on school grounds, at sporting events and around Pomona when she was a 15-year-old junior at the school. The suit also alleges that Spirlin provided the girl with alcohol and that shortly after enrolling at the school as a 13-year-old freshman in 1994 that she became aware of sexual relationships between underage students and Crichlow and Taylor.
Taylor testified in a deposition that he currently works as a supervisor at Childhelp Merv Griffin Village in Beaumont, described by the facility’s website as a 24-hour-a-day treatment center for severely abused, neglected and at-risk children. The center can house up to 64 children ranging in age from 6 to 14 years old, according to the website. Childhelp confirmed his employment this week.
Childhelp administrators did not respond to a request for comment. Taylor, a Los Angeles native, was an All-Pac 10 punt returner at Washington State before going on to play for five NFL teams between 1988 and 1993. He did not respond to a request for comment.
Crichlow and Spirlin did not respond to emails and telephone calls requesting comment.
Crichlow invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination for his deposition and discovery responses in the lawsuit, according to court documents.
Mt. SAC athletics director Joe Jennum did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
“I’m very surprised,” Weatherford said, referring to the coaches’ continued employment. “I would think with the severity of the complaints and the number of complaints and that the district has taken some public action that they still wouldn’t have access to kids.”
Ganesha High athletic director Donald Cayer said he was not aware of the allegations against Spirlin.
“He’s gone through the same background checks as all our other coaches,” said Cayer, who referred the matter to the district’s human resources department.
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PUSD interim superintendent Darren Knowles said in a statement to SCNG “the District has become aware of the allegations, but cannot comment on pending litigation. We remain committed to the protection of students on our campuses with student safety and well-being as our first priority.”
The PUSD filed a cross complaint against Crichlow on July 2, 2021 in the Jane Doe 1 case.
Crichlow is also alleged to have sexually abused a Pomona High student beginning in the 1993-94 school year when she was a 16-year-old 11th grader and continuing through her senior year, according to a suit filed on October 13, 2022. Crichlow had sex with the girl at the school, motels, parties and in the homes of other coaches, the suit said. Crichlow referred to the girl, Jane Doe 3, as his “girlfriend” and that she was “not allowed to speak to other men,” according to court documents.
Jane Doe 3 also recounted in court documents how Taylor and another coach picked her and another girl and took the students to McDonald’s and then a motel. When Taylor and the other girl went into another room at the motel, the other coach pulled off her pants and underpants and began sexually assaulting her, according to court documents. After Jane Doe 3 screamed “no” and “stop,” the other coach finally stopped, according to the suit.