FARGO, N.D. — Tuesday's ruling by a federal judge in Minnesota tossed out a lawsuit brought by eight former players of hockey alleging sexual abuse at the hands of a college and youth coach during the 1980s.
Plaintiffs accuse Thomas “Chico” Adrahtas and others of repeatedly sexual assault, abuse, molestation, harassment, while they were playing on his teams at various levels. Many of the men accused were minors at that time.
Adrahtas and USA Hockey, as well as the Amateur Hockey Association Illinois, are the defendants in this lawsuit.
U.S. District Court Judge Eric Tostrud stated Tuesday that the “short version of a more complicated story” is that the federal claims were barred by statutes. Therefore, it makes sense for that case to be dismissed so it can “in another proceeding” or forum.
Nicholas Economakos was an attorney representing former players. Economakos said that although he was disappointed in the decision, he still respected the judge's 51 page order. Economakos claimed that it “drew a roadmap” for the next steps. Economakos suggested that this could include a federal appeal as the dismissal leaves open the possibility of further action or complaints being filed in up to five other states.
Economakos stated to The Associated Press that they are considering all options.
Jill Brisbois was an attorney representing Adrahtas. She did not return an email requesting comment. Officials at the University of Minnesota stated that they were looking into a statement.
Economakos indicated that he seeks justice for the teenage boys sexually assaulted and coached by someone “with the blessings” of organizations supposed to protect them.
“We know of many other victims who aren't at least ready to join the complaint and come forward,” he said. He said that he is optimistic about the future because every survivor makes it more difficult for the courts and legislatures to ignore this matter and do right.”
Adrahtas is being accused were first reported by The Athletic2020