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A former personal trainer at a gym in Nevada who was convicted of raping a teenager in 2013 is now being sued by the teenager, according to a civil complaint.  The teen also is suing the owners of the gym.  

She accuses gym owners of negligent hiring, retention, and supervision. She accuses the trainer of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She is seeking punitive damages in excess of $10,000 on each count, case costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

The rape occurred after the her first training session at the gym, which gave her a membership, knowing she was a minor and could not legally enter into a binding contract, according to the suit. She was 16 at the time.

The trainer offered the teen a ride home and raped her in his vehicle according to the complaint.  She reported the sexual assault to authorities the next day. The trainer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to between eight and 20 years in prison.

The suit alleges the gym negligently hired the trainer knowing he was a convicted felon and sex offender. His criminal history included 16 convictions for crimes such as illegal sex with a minor, kidnapping, larceny, witness tampering, assault and battery, and illegal possession of a firearm, according to the complaint which also claims the gym had a duty to protect their patrons and breached that duty by hiring the trainer.



This is a very sad case that, unfortunately, points out several things that are important to note.

First, a minor was allowed to sign and enter into a personal training contract without the supervision of a parent. No one under the age of 18 should ever be allowed by sign any membership or training agreement without a parent present to sign the waiver.

Second, a staff member who the gym hired without preforming a background check was allowed to work with a minor. No insurance carriers at this time would offer Sexual Abuse & Molestation coverage for a facility that allowed minors to be supervised by staff without back ground checks.

Finally, a staff member drove a client home in their personal vehicle. No clients should be transported in any vehicle unless it is a company vehicle carried on the gym’s commercial auto policy for the purpose of transporting members.

It makes the point very clear that back ground checks should be performed on all staff regardless of whether they are working with minors or adults to protect both the clients and the business.


Jennifer Lowe
National Accounts Manager
Sports & Fitness Insurance Corporation

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