Exclusive: Girl says coach did nothing about fondling

November 16, 2012 8:07:53 PM PST
Eyewitness News has learned that the investigation into a Jersey City High School football coach is expanding.

Lincoln coach Robert Hampton is accused of covering up his star player fondling a female athlete.

His alleged victim came to Eyewitness News, ready to go public with her side of the story.

What might surprise you is that she was on the football team as well.

She was a girl who was living out her dream until she says she was cornered in the locker room.

Eyewitness News is not revealing her identity because investigators say she is the victim of a sexual assault.

"I just don't want this to happen to anyone else," the victim said.

At just 15-years-old, she's taking on a well-known and respected figure in the Jersey City community.

She says coach Robert Hampton let her down.

"Do you think he was trying to protect Steven Jones?" Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Pegues asked.

"Yes," she said.

She's accusing the coach of trying to cover-up, what happened to her at the school in late July during a pre-season workout.

According to investigators, the Lincoln Lion's 18-year-old star wide receiver Steven Jones fondled her in the locker room.

"He came behind me pulled me by my hair and sat me on the bench," the victim said.

She says she left the school in tears, told her mother, and then talked to coach Hampton on the phone.

"When I spoke to him he was just like I was lying," the victim said.

Then with her mother followed up in a meeting with the coach that included Steven Jones.

"He told the guy not to do it again or next time he's going to the authorities. He said next time," the victim said.

"He didn't say this time?" Pegues asked.

"No he did not," the victim said.

In an exclusive interview last month the coach denied the allegations.

"I thought I did right and it saddens me," Hampton said.

He says neither the victim nor her mother ever told him that she was fondled, which is why he says he didn't go to the cops.

But prosecutors allege the coach knew and failed to follow protocol.

"Like she didn't even matter. They didn't handle it," the victim's mother said.

Investigators say police didn't find out about the alleged incident until two months later, when the 15-year-old's mother went to police.

"If he thinks he has a responsibility to 52 other kids. His allegiance should have been to her as well," said Patrick Patel, the victim's attorney.

"I feel if a female wants to play football. She should be able to do it. And no one should be stopped. I feel like I was stopped," the victim said, "He didn't do anything about it because that was his star player."

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