Judge: 1969 Sex Abuse Case Against Harvard Coach Can Proceed

A judge ruled last week that a man who claims he was repeatedly raped by a former swim coach on the Harvard campus four decades ago can move forward with his lawsuit.

A Massachusetts Superior Court judge ruled Dec. 8 that a man who claims he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a swim coach at Harvard University more than forty years ago can proceed with his lawsuit against the school.

Stephen Embry’s case was dismissed by a judge last November because it was filed 15 months after the statute of limitations on the crime had run out.  But in June, new legislation was passed extending the statute of limitations in such cases, the Boston Globe reports. 

According to the lawsuit, Embry said that starting in 1969 when he was 12 years old, Coach Benn Meritt repeatedly assaulted him and at least two other boys. Meritt, who later killed himself when legal actions were brought against him in 1996, also reportedly took nude photos of the children.

Embry claims the university misled him about the statute of limitations on abuse claims, and failed to disclose a previous claim of abuse made against Merritt in 1996.

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