Beaumont law firm files suit against Little League for alleged assaults

Fatima Fokina

Little League International, a local coach and his wife, and a Texas hunting club are now being sued in federal court as an investigation continues into whether the coach sexually abused minors on his team.

But instead of focusing just on the man allegedly at fault, the suit aims to change the way the league and others do business.

The Beaumont-based Bernsen Law Firm is representing eight minors in the lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas’ Lufkin Division.

The first name the lawsuit targets is the former Evadale Little League president and coach Adam Dale Isaacks, 38. Authorities arrested the Silsbee man Dec. 30 for indecency with a child.

But the lawsuit names the other individuals to hold them accountable for failing to protect the youth involved, according to David Bernsen, who has been practicing law for 40 years.

“The community needs to rally around these young children, support them, lift them up, pray for them but support them,” he said. “This is a situation that I have never seen in that the president of the Little League and the coach of the Little League uses the roster provided to him from Little League as a list of victims and potential victims.

“The system just failed to protect them, and we need the justice system to protect them now and to send a message that we don’t want our children ever treated like this again.

The petition said allegations of assault and sexual abuse of a Jasper County Little League participant initially were reported to Jasper Law Enforcement on Dec. 13. It claims Isaacks committed additional assaults after the initial complaint was given until his arrest later that month.

Following the allegations that originated from a child in Jasper County, the Sabine County Sheriff’s Office previously confirmed to The Enterprise, Isaacks was charged with at least three additional counts of continuous sexual assault of a child. He was held on a $500,000 bond for each charge.

“Every young boy begins Little League with a dream which has been shared by millions of young boys around the world − to play baseball, make the All-Star team, and, someday, play in the Big Leagues,” the petition said. “For Plaintiffs, their first introduction to baseball was through the Evadale Little League and with a coach named Adam Isaacks. Each young player was instructed by Adam Isaacks that he was the coach and if they wanted to play baseball, they had to follow his instructions and demands.”

The lawsuit lists the defendants as Isaacks, Little League Baseball, Inc., his wife Miranda Lynn Dukes Isaacks, Evadale Little League and Bear Creek Hunting Club.

A Little League International spokesperson told The Enterprise on Monday evening that the league is aware of the “unfortunate allegations” made involving “the former volunteer” at Evadale Little League. Due to the pending litigation, the league declined to provide further comment.

Bernsen said federal laws have been passed by the Congress of the United States that pertain to this type of situation, which is why the civil lawsuit has been filed in a federal court.

“Little League failed in protecting (the children), quite frankly, and we are here to fight for them and to fight for the future of young players that would be in a similar situation or playing on a Little League team so that Little League can take the appropriate approach to stopping this type of behavior,” he continued.

According to the facts of the case presented in the 62-page petition, the firm said Adam Isaacks and his wife of 15 years, were “in a position of authority.”

He was an authorized coach of several Evadale Little League baseball teams from 2017-2021 where he coached boys from 6-12 years old. His wife had served as Evadale Little League’s secretary and assistant coach, the information said.

The former Little League president was involved in numerous youth sports organizations, a board member previously told The Enterprise.

The petition highlights violations of Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Assault and Safe Sports Authorization Act, also known as “Safe Sports Act” and the Sexual Exploitation and Other Abuse of Children in violation of Federal Anti-Human Trafficking and other federal statutes.

However, the organization’s website states the Little League’s Child Protection Program was updated in 2018 to “reflect the mandates set forth by the ‘Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Act of 2017.’” More specifically, adults in regular contact with an amateur athlete, who is a minor, must report child abuse to law enforcement within 24 hours.

Bernsen said the eight children were allegedly subject to sexual abuse for about five years — some starting when they were just 7 years old.

“In his position, he has taken advantage of these young children, and in the backdrop of all of the other circumstances that have gone on with Michigan State, and Nassar, and Boy Scouts — Little League was aware predators will go toward young victims and all of the safeguards that should have been in place were not in place and we are going to fight for their protection,” he said.

The lawsuit also alleges negligence, including against for-profit Bear Creek hunting club in Sabine County headquartered in Pineland.

The lawsuit claims the approximately 12,000 acre hunting club provided a “sanctuary” for Isaacks to to allegedly commit sexual crimes against children and “failed to provide security to minors,” who were brought to the property and “sexually abused for numerous years,” the petition said.

“Bear Creek created, maintained, and allowed to exist an unreasonably dangerous condition by its failure to properly secure its premises, failure to properly supervise its members, failure to have or implement a security plan, failure to investigate and report the continuous sexual assault of minors over the course of at least 4 to 5 years,” the petition said.

Bear Creek Hunting Club could not be reached by press time.

The firm is seeking monetary relief, including at least $150,000 for each of the families and lists damages, stating in the petition that some of the children have experienced “physical sickness, pain and suffering and bodily injury.”

Others have experienced “physical impairment” and “suffered severe mental anguish in the past and in all reasonable probability will sustain severe mental anguish in the future.” .

“It is for money damages and it is also to shine a light on what happened in this community and how it happened,” Bernsen said. “Hopefully, and the intent, is to prevent it from ever happening again. But we are here on behalf of these young children and we are going to go the distance for them and the community that they come from and to protect these children and others who come after them.”

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