The head softball coach and an assistant softball coach at Prosper High School have been arrested and are under investigation by Prosper police and school district officials after a student and her mother told police the two coaches refused to report allegations of sexual assault by a member of the team, according to reports by Dallas Morning News.
Head coach Renna Bersosa was arrested Friday, Aug. 25, and accused of a misdemeanor failure to report child abuse. She was booked into the Collin County jail then released on a $3,500 bond later that day. Assistant coach Kasie Ostrom was arrested Tuesday, Aug. 29, for the same offense. She was released on a personal recognizance bond, DMN reports.
According to an affidavit by Prosper ISD’s Police Department, a student-athlete told Bersosa on Aug. 7, two days before classes began, that three other athletes said they were sexually abused and raped by another player off-campus during multiple sleepovers at players’ homes this summer. The student telling Bersosa about the allegations told police the coach responded by saying the player accused of assaults was “a good player and they don’t want to lose her,” and that she should “handle the situation on her own” by telling the accused player to stop or she would tell the coach, DMN reports. The player said she then texted the suspect with that warning.
The students involved weren’t named in the affidavit.
The mother of the student who reported the incidents told police that Ostrom was present but did not speak during the meeting, according to the affidavit.
Texas law requires anyone who believes child abuse or neglect is occurring to report it to police, and educators are required to report within 48 hours, DMN notes. Failure to do so is a crime.
DMN reports that Bersosa told investigators she did not know she was required to report a third-party allegation, and Ostrom said she thought Bersosa was going to investigate the claims.
Prosper ISD officials initially told parents that both coaches had been placed on administrative leave, but on Monday, Aug. 28, confirmed to DMN that both coaches were no longer employed by the school district.
Bersosa had worked for the district since August 2019 and was promoted to head softball coach in May. She worked for the district since August 2019, previously serving as an assistant volleyball coach. Ostrom was hired by Prosper ISD on Aug. 2, five days before the meeting with the student-athlete took place.
DMN reports that former Prosper Rock Hill softball coach Leigh Anne Budd left the district “following allegations of disability discrimination that led a softball player to pursue legal action against Prosper ISD,” and that the school district is also “facing a lawsuit by a family that claims its daughters were sexually abused by a former bus driver more than 100 times during their kindergarten and first-grade years.”
And in 2015, DMN reported a Prosper High School teacher said she was blamed by her boss for reporting another educator in the district who allegedly made sexual advances at a student, because, her boss said, she should have reported the incident to school district officers rather than Prosper police.
— Tammye Nash