BENNINGTON -- A lawsuit has been filed against a former high school basketball coach accused of molesting a young girl in his home last Christmas.
Leo Reynolds, 67, formerly of Bennington, has pleaded not guilty to a felony count of sexual assault, and four counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. He is free on bail and living under court imposed conditions at the home of a friend in Poultney with his wife, Pamela Reynolds, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
According to police, a 7-year-old girl told her mother that Leo Reynolds had molested her in the upstairs of his home in Bennington. The girl’s mother was downstairs with Reynolds’ wife at the time.
Reynolds coached the Mount Anthony Union High School girls basketball team for 28 years until mid-season 2012.
Police said Reynolds confessed to the crime, but his attorney, David Silver, has argued that the confession was coerced. He also represents Reynolds in the civil case.
The civil complaint was filed in early April with the Vermont Superior Court Civil Division by attorney Jerome F. O’Neill and Matthew S. Stern. Their clients are the parents of the alleged victim in the criminal case, as well as the alleged victim herself. The file refers to them under pseudonyms, and the Banner does not generally name alleged sexual assault victims.
The complaint accused Reynolds of causing, "severe pain, emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation, loss of self-esteem, and other psychological injuries..." to the girl.
It also accused Pamela Reynolds of negligence, saying she should have know what was taking place while she was present in the house and should have taken steps to prevent it.
"We are going to hold (Leo Reynolds) accountable for what he did using the civil justice system," said O’Neill.
He expects the civil case will not advance until the criminal one resolves.
O’Neill filed for an "ex parte writ of attachment" on the Reynolds home in Bennington, which Leo and Pamela Reynolds had placed up for sale.
According to Silver, the home has been sold, and both sides agreed to have the court place a temporary writ of attachment on $200,000 of the proceeds, which are being held in escrow by Silver’s firm until another hearing can be held on Monday when the court will decide whether or not to order a permanent writ.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.