Parents file lawsuit against Bountiful High girls’ volleyball coaches for assault and battery

Posted at 10:47 PM, Sep 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-09 00:47:14-04

UPDATE: Both coaches named in the lawsuit have been suspended, officials confirmed Wednesday, click here for details.

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BOUNTIFUL, Utah -- Two coaches on the Bountiful High School girls' volleyball team are being sued for assault and battery.

The lawsuit was filed by Clair Asay, who has two daughters on the team and a wife who is an assistant coach on the team. The family is accusing head coach Lane Herrick of physically and mentally abusing their daughters during practice.

"There is a lot of fear that's going on with the team, there's a lot of girls that have been verbally abused and they are afraid to say anything," said Clair Asay.

The Asay family said they decided to sue Herrick after he asked the players to write a paper at the beginning of this season outlying their strengths and weaknesses. Asay says Herrick didn't like what his oldest daughter wrote.

"He basically exploded, she felt threatened, she felt as if he was going to strike her," said Asay.

Asay says Herrick next confronted his younger daughter.

"He approached her, grabbed her, yanked her down, and began to yell at her," said Asay.

Asay says the abuse occurred on a day his wife wasn't at practice to defend his daughters. He says Herrick has turned the rest of the team against the sisters.

"The other teammates are being told not to associate with my daughters," said Asay.

Herrick has been employed by the Davis School District since 2007. He was previously with the Carbon School District, where he was head baseball coach, before getting fired among more allegations of abuse, according to the lawsuit.

"These complaints have been going on for years," said Asay.

Davis School District spokesman, Chris Williams, said the lawsuit and abuse allegations came as a surprise to them.

"The principal said that he came on board after all that surfaced, he was already hired as a volley ball coach, he said, 'I didn't have any concerns because I was a brand new principal.'"

The team's assistant coach, Joel Burton, is also named in the lawsuit because Asay says he witnessed the abuse and chose not to step in and help the girls or report the incidents.

"I think they should be gone, I think both of them should be gone," said Asay.

"Our main goal is to educate students and it doesn't matter where that education takes place and if there is any sort of allegation that someone stepped out of line involving a student we have to look into it and we take those things seriously," said Williams.

FOX 13 News reached out to both coaches named in this lawsuit but neither got back to us.

Mrs. Asay has stepped away from coaching the team, but both girls remain on the team and plan on continuing to play this season.