HOUSTON – Houston Christian University was hit with a second lawsuit Tuesday involving allegations of sexual misconduct by a former track coach.
The second lawsuit accuses HCU’s former associate head track coach and recruitment coordinator of forcing himself on a student-athlete identified in court documents as Jane Doe #2.
“There are more on the way. We have eight clients right now, perhaps more,” said attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents both women currently suing HCU. " We did what we could to try to resolve this without civil litigation and we got nowhere with the University.”
Sesar Figueroa was the former associate head track coach and recruitment coordinator for HCU and the two lawsuits filed by Buzbee accuse of him preying on young women; offering them employment and prime competitive opportunities in exchange for sexual favors. Buzbee said Figueroa became aggressive with Jane Doe #2 when she rebuffed his advances.
“She was assaulted in a parking lot in his car,” said Buzbee.
“Defendant Figueroa forced himself upon Plaintiff by grabbing her and kissing her full on the mouth. Fortunately, Plaintiff pushed back, and was able to get Figueroa off of her,” court records read. Court documents also show after the incident Figueroa sent the woman a message on social media reading in part, “Accept my apology (we now have a secret).”
In a statement released by HCU following the filing of the first lawsuit, University officials denied any wrongdoing. HCU officials have not yet responded to KPRC 2′s request for further comment regarding the filing of the 2nd lawsuit.
The statement posted on the universities website regarding the lawsuit:
“The University has received the lawsuit filed December 30, 2022. We are troubled by any and all allegations of misconduct between University employees and students. We take all reports of sexual misconduct seriously and have dedicated significant time and resources to ensuring the safety of students on our campus and under our care. When the University was made aware of allegations of misconduct related to this lawsuit, we took appropriate action to respond to these allegations by contacting and cooperating with law enforcement and terminating an assistant track coach. In the situations identified in the lawsuit filed, the University acted lawfully and in good faith, and we expect a court to agree.”
Buzbee is critical of how HCU handled an internal investigation into these complaints.
“It was a complete sham, it was a farce, it was something to simply shield the university from litigation and liability,” said Buzbee.
Buzbee said Jane Doe #2 has also filed a criminal complaint, but Figueroa has not been charged with any crime.