PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A former student is suing the Woodburn School District for $3 million after the district’s former teacher and head football coach was found guilty of sexually abusing her.
Former coach and teacher Nicholas Federico was convicted on Oct. 13, 2022 of eight counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of luring a minor.
According to the lawsuit filed against the district on Monday, Nov. 28, the abuse occurred in the 2017-2018 school year when the former student was 17 and Federico was 37.
As a result of the abuse she experienced, the lawsuit says the former student continues to suffer physical and psychological injuries. She is asking the district for $3 million in damages.
According to the lawsuit, the student took Federico’s weightlifting class her freshman and sophomore years. She then reconnected with him in the spring semester of her senior year in 2018. The lawsuit said she was hoping to volunteer for him as a way to raise her grades before graduation.
At the time, the lawsuit says the student was pregnant and having difficulties at home. It says Federico acted as a confidant and teacher she could trust. He gave her his personal cell phone “in case she ever needed to talk,” the lawsuit said.
Soon, the two began texting and messaging each other on Snapchat, and Federic sent the student explicit photos, the lawsuit said.
According to the lawsuit, Federico sexually abused the girl on her prom night. Federico invited the student to his home while his wife was out of town, the lawsuit said.
The sexual abuse continued until the girl turned 18, according to the lawsuit.
“Federico’s sexual abuse of Plaintiff directly arose from the relationship he formed and cultivated with her through his role as a teacher for Defendant District,” the lawsuit states.
The former student’s attorney, Barbara Long, issued a statement on behalf of her client.
“After enduring a difficult criminal trial where my client’s credibility was under attack, the jury overwhelmingly believed her and convicted Mr. Federico on all counts. She now seeks to hold the school district accountable for the sexual abuse she suffered by its employee,” she said.
The Woodburn School District told KOIN 6 News it does not comment on ongoing litigation.