Last year, former Broomfield High School wrestling coach Travis Masse was accused of sexual assault on a child, a crime for which he was subsequently sentenced to life in prison -- although he's eligible for parole in ten years. Now Masse's being sued by three former students who also target the school district they believe should have protected them from him.
As first reported by the Boulder Daily Camera, the suit, on view below in its entirety, was filed on August 11 in the name of plaintiffs identified as Jane Doe numbers one, two and three. In the opening portion of the suit, they maintain that they were "victims of a sustained pattern of sexual harassment, unlawful sexual contact, and sexual misconduct committed...over a period of multiple school years." Moreover, the document contends that "Masse's pattern of improper and discriminatory conduct was enabled and even promoted by fellow teachers, school employees, and school administrators, many of whom ignored multiple, repeated warnings that Defendant Masse was a sexual predator who abused his position of trust to prey upon vulnerable female students."
Examples of these claims abound. According to the document, Masse was invited to become a volunteer wrestling coach at Broomfield High in 2001, while still a student at the University of Colorado. Along the way, he took part in a "field placement" program at Monarch High School, which, like Broomfield, is part of the Boulder Valley School District. Shortly thereafter, Monarch gave him the heave-ho after hearing reports about him having inappropriate contact with a female student. But even though Broomfield officials were allegedly informed about this nastiness, wrestling coach Mark Schmidt, who's also named as a defendant, allowed him to continue volunteering for the team and encouraged administrators to hire him first as a part-time teacher and later as a full-timer.
During his time at Broomfield, Masse is accused of frequently "dating" female students -- activities that were allegedly such an open secret that the suit also accuses Jasmine Masse, his wife and fellow teacher, of failing to step in and stop him. For Jane Doe No. 1, his randiness was translated into more than 8,900 text messages, many of them sexually explicit, and some containing nude photos of her, which she sent at his request. She maintains that the two of them also had sex -- once at Anthem Lake, and multiple times on wrestling-team trips so near the noses of coaches and other personnel that they must have known something improper was going on, according to the lawsuit.
Jane Doe No. 2 says Masse also pestered her with sexually provocative texts and requests for kinky photos. And Jane Doe No. 3 accuses Masse of sexually assaulting her on three separate occasions, including in the wrestling room and in his truck. This last incident took place, the suit allows, because she needed a ride home from volleyball practice.
Check out the entire lawsuit here:
More from our Mug Shots archive: "Top 6 mug shots of 2010 accused teachers, caretakers."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.