Reporting Lana Jones
BOSTON (CBS) – A man who claims he was sexually abused by a Harvard swim coach 30 years ago is now suing Harvard for alleged negligence in keeping the coach on staff.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Lana Jones reports.
Steven Embry says he had a good life working as a researcher in Florida. But, he said several traumas, including his daughter’s diagnosis of Autism and the loss of his job, brought back memories of abuse he claims he suffered at the hands of the swim coach Ben Merit.
“And the dreams of what happened came back in living color, like it happened yesterday, and it’s on a tape that plays over and over and over,” said Embry.
He reported the alleged abuse to Harvard in 2008 before the statue of limitations ran out. But, he alleges Harvard ran the clock on him.
Embry says the abuse occurred during the years when he was 12, 13 and 14.
He says he suppressed those memories out of fear.
“If I had come forward, the bullying, the abuse, the daily beatings that I would’ve received, because this was the 1970’s, it’s not today, would’ve made one of the happiest times in my life one of the most miserable,” said Embry.
As for Merit, he left Harvard for Newton North High School in the 1970’s and later took his own life in 1996 when another boy he coached at Harvard filed suit alleging he was abused.
“The acts that Mr. Embry says that he suffered at the hands of his neighbor can only be described as despicable, but there is no basis to suggest that the University had any knowledge of these events when they allegedly occurred more than three decades ago. Nevertheless, there was nothing to prevent Mr. Embry from having taken legal action any time before or after he or his original legal counsel initiated conversations with representatives of the general counsel’s office in 2008,” Harvard said in a statement.