Mount San Antonio College has no plans to take action against Brian Crichlow, the school’s women’s basketball coach, who has been accused by three women since 2021 of sexually abusing them in the 1990s while they were students at Pomona High School while he was a teacher at the school.
Crichlow, who has led Mt. SAC to four state junior college titles, Ganesha High girls basketball head coach Vincent 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 track coach Kitrick Taylor and the two other employees witnessed the 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.”
The suit against the Pomona Unified School District, Crichlow, Spirlin, and two other coaches is seeking damages arising from childhood sexual abuse.
Mt. SAC officials said they were aware of the lawsuits but Crichlow’s job was not in jeopardy.
“There have not been any allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Crichlow at Mt. SAC. Allegations of sexual misconduct at other institutions are outside of our jurisdiction and are handled through that institution. If there are any convictions, it will be reviewed by the college, and action may be taken in accordance with Education Code,” Jill Dolan, the college’s public affairs director, said in an email to the Southern California News Group.
Natalie Weatherford, an attorney for the alleged victims, said she was taken aback by Mt. SAC’s decision not to suspend or fire Crichlow.
“Especially in 2023 when we know that sexual abuse has a lifetime impact on those who were abused when they were children,” Weatherford said. “And it’s hard for these women who were abused to see that he’s still working with children, that he still has access to young women and he’s still being given the trust and power he used to sexually abuse them.
“This is a classic case of an institution protecting a perpetrator who is doing something good for them so they’re going to look the other way.”
Crichlow and Mt. SAC athletic director Joe Jennum have not responded to multiple requests for comment.
The PUSD reached an out-of-court settlement on October 19 with a woman who said Crichlow sexually abused and harassed her when she was a 16-year-old girl, according to court records.
During a trip to Las Vegas for a track meet in the spring of 1997 the woman said Crichlow had sexual intercourse with her in a Days Inn motel while Taylor had sex with another 16-year-old student in an adjacent bed in the same motel room, according to court records.
The woman Taylor had sex with sued Taylor, Crichlow and the PUSD in September 2020. A settlement in the case was reached on December 17, 2021.
Crichlow invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination for his deposition and discovery responses in the lawsuit, according to court documents.
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.
“Throughout these cases, there have been multiple witnesses who have come forward and testified that the multiple acts of sexual abuse that they witnessed were perpetrated by Mr. Crichlow,” Weatherford said.
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Jane Doe 3 also recounted in court documents how Taylor and another coach, Herman Hopson, 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.
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 Hopson 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.
Hopson has not responded to the October 13 suit, Weatherford said. Attempts to locate Hopson were unsuccessful.
Despite sex abuse allegations, former Pomona High coaches continue to work with children, young women