United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
SOROKIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
22, 2016, plaintiffs Marvin Lopez (“Lopez”),
Cecilia Lopez, and Marvin Lopez, Sr., filed a complaint in
state court against the City of Somerville and various
individuals (collectively “Somerville”),
alleging, among other claims, sex discrimination, negligence,
and loss of consortium, arising from Lopez's sexual
assault at a sports camp in 2013 and the aftermath of that
incident. Doc. Nos. 1-1; 21. Somerville removed the suit to
this Court, Doc. No.1,  and now moves for summary judgment on
all claims against them, Doc. No. 36.
Lopezes oppose Somerville's motion with respect to Counts
I-VII but not Counts VIII-XII. Doc. No. 42 at 1. Accordingly,
the Court ALLOWS Somerville's motion for summary judgment
as to Counts VIII-XII as UNOPPOSED. That leaves for
resolution Somerville's motion on Counts I-VII.
facts, based upon the undisputed facts before the Court, the
Lopezes' factual submissions even where disputed, and
those facts established by drawing all reasonable inferences
in the Lopezes' favor, are set forth below.
August 2013, Lopez began his freshman year at Somerville High
School. Doc. No. 43-P at ¶ 3. From August 23-26, 2013, he
attended an overnight, off-campus athletics camp (“the
camp”), which was a prerequisite to participate in
Somerville High School's soccer program. Id. at
¶ 5; Doc. No. 43-D at ¶ 1. Lopez attended the camp
with the permission of his parents Cecilia Lopez and Marvin
Lopez, Sr. Doc. No. 43-D at ¶ 1.
Somerville High School's Anti-Hazing Policy
High School has an anti-hazing policy. Id. at ¶
77. The policy was in force in 2013 and was printed in the
Somerville High School student handbook, which all student
athletes are required to sign, indicating receipt and
acknowledgement of the policy. Id. at ¶¶
before arriving at camp, Lopez had heard stories about
upperclassman campers “pulling the shower curtain open
when someone was showering or kicking the door open when
someone was using the bathroom” and had heard to
“keep the door locked because of pranks.”
Id. at ¶¶ 18-19. According to one camper,
in previous years at the camp, “if a person was
showering, other guys would . . . get in the shower and . . .
spank him” and that “there was putting Icy Hot
[cream] on other players' genitals.” Pl. Ex. No. 15
at 17. Additionally, in 2012, one student reported to the
soccer coaches that freshman campers were running into
freshman showers while other freshman were showering. Doc.
No. 43-D at ¶ 98.
the August 2013 session of the camp, Joseph Curatone, the
mayor of Somerville and an assistant coach of Somerville High
School's football team, spoke to the Somerville High
School athletes. Id. at ¶ 2. He warned the
athletes that hazing would not be tolerated at the soccer
The 2013 Camp
Lopez arrived at the camp, he was assigned to a freshman
cabin. Id. at ¶ 3. The coaches' cabin was
adjacent to Lopez's cabin, and he and the other campers
were instructed to come to the coaches' cabin if they
needed anything. Id. at ¶¶ 8-9. At least
five soccer coaches from Somerville High School attended the
camp with the Somerville High School student athletes.
Id. at ¶ 12. They did not chaperone the campers
while the campers were in their cabins, id. at
¶ 15, and, on several nights, drank beer outside in
front of the coaches cabin. Id. at ¶ 26.
August 23 and August 24, 2013, several incidents of hazing
occurred at the camp, including “putting Icy Hot on
genitals.” Doc. No. 43-P at ¶ 27.
The Assault in the Cabin
Sunday August 25, 2013, some of the students and coaches,
including Head Soccer Coach George Scarpelli, left the
campsite for an off-site varsity scrimmage game. Doc. No.
43-D at ¶¶ 34, 37-38. About thirty students
remained at the camp, and two coaches stayed behind with
them. Id. at ¶¶ 38-39; Doc. No. 43-P at
¶ 28. That morning, after breakfast, the
students remaining at the campsite took a mid-morning break,
and Lopez and his freshman cabin-mates returned to their
cabin. Doc. No. 43-D at ¶ 40. At this time, three
upperclassmen entered the freshman cabin, yelling
“freshman beat down.” Id. at ¶ 41.
Lopez went to the bathroom, while one of the upperclassman
“touch[ed] [a second freshman] underneath his
shorts.” Id. at ¶ 44. When Lopez came out
of the bathroom, an upperclassman grabbed him and “set
him in the middle of the cabin facing the door and forc[ed]
him to choose either getting a broomstick in his butt right
now or later get[ing] [Icy Hot cream] rubbed over his
genitals.” Id. at ¶ 45. Lopez said
“he did not want either.” Id. at ¶
46. One of the upperclassmen then told Lopez that he had
received “Icy Hot last year and that it burned for the
rest of the night and the next day.” Id. Lopez
continued to resist, but ultimately bent down and pulled down
his shorts. Id. at ¶ 47. Then, one or more of
the upperclassman thrust a broom up Lopez's anus, causing
Lopez to bleed. Id. Hurt, Lopez ran to the bathroom.
Id. One of the upperclassmen then offered to bring
Lopez ice, and one or more warned Lopez not to tell anyone
about the incident. Id. at ¶ 49. The
upperclassmen then left the cabin and did not return with
ice. Id. at ¶ 48.
The Remainder of Camp
the assault, Lopez sat on the toilet, bleeding. Id.
at ¶ 51. He asked another camper to take a
photo so that he could see how bad his injury
was. Id. Lopez was “shocked” by the
blood, and lay on his bed for a time to ease the pain.
Id.; Pl. Ex. No. 1 at 44. He then “went about
[his] day” and participated in scheduled soccer
practice without incident. Pl. Ex. No. 1 at 44; Doc. No. 43-D
at ¶ 51.
lunchtime, all campers and coaches had returned to the
campsite. Doc. No. 43-D at ¶ 53. That night, the campers
and coaches participated in a team bonfire. Id. at
¶ 54. At the bonfire, Coach Scarpelli asked the freshman
to share what the camp meant to them. Id. at ¶
56. When it was Lopez's turn to share, he said,
“pain.” Id. One of the upperclassman
asked Lopez “good pain or bad pain?” Id.
To which, Lopez responded “bad pain.”
Id. The upperclassman then said, “if it was
bad pain, why did you ask for it twice?” Id.
Coach Scarpelli heard this exchange but did not follow up.
Lopez was home, Cecilia Lopez, his mother, noticed that he
was sad and quiet, but Lopez did not say anything to her
about what had happened to him at camp. Id. at 52;
Pl. Ex. No. 7 at 12. He then “went to his bedroom to
rest” and “laid down and he didn't get
up.” Pl. Ex. No. 7 at 12.
August 27, 2013, the Tuesday following camp, the soccer team
held practice with all of the players. Doc. No. 43-P at
¶ 54. Lopez did not attend. Id. That same day,
a parent of a camp attendee reported Lopez's assault to
one of the assistant soccer coaches. Id. at ¶
55. When Coach Scarpelli learned that a ...