UPDATE (7/5/2023): Julian Willis arrested on June 29, as investigation into his sexual misconduct continues to unfold.
After the news broke of Willis’ firing from Kamiak High School, a former Lakeside Milam Treatment Center patient reported to police that Willis had sexually abused her while he was employed at the center.
Willis previously faced allegations of sexual misconduct in 2013 in addition to prior allegations of rape in Idaho and similar allegations in Arizona. He was convicted of domestic violence in Everett in 2009.
A Call for Witnesses: Survivors of Julian Willis
Former Kamiak High School football coach and substitute teacher Julian Willis was removed from his position following allegations of sexual misconduct. PCVA is currently investigating the allegations against Willis. If you or someone you know has any information that could help in these efforts, please contact us.
“Why did officials at Kamiak tolerate this open, obvious misconduct?” PCVA partner Ian Bauer asked. “Why was it left to members of the community, to protect students from grooming by a teacher and coach?”
This article provides frequently asked questions about Willis, sexual abuse, and how PCVA’s experienced sexual abuse lawyers can help.
What are the allegations against Julian Willis?
On April 25, 2023, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Patrick Moriarty found probable cause to believe Willis may be guilty of sexual misconduct and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
33-year-old Willis allegedly engaged in sexual activity with a 17-year-old student at least five times between November 2022 and March 2023.
“Who looked away, or laughed, when Willis was flirting with and grooming underage students?” asks PCVA partner Darrell Cochran. “And, perhaps, more importantly – why didn’t they intervene?”
The Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office has not yet filed formal charges against Willis.
PCVA is currently gathering information about Willis’ alleged crimes. We know that the abuse reportedly occurred both on and off campus.
Is there any additional information about Julian Willis at this time?
PCVA knows that Willis was employed by the school district from February 2021 through April 2023 as a track coach at Cascade High School. He also served as a Kamiak High School football coach and substitute teacher.
“School officials have a solemn, heightened duty to protect their students,” Darrell said. “When a substitute teacher and athletics coach is allowed to openly and consistently ‘flirt’ with underage, high school students, hard questions must be asked of school officials at both Kamiak and Cascade High Schools.”
Willis voluntarily resigned from his position after he was placed on leave when allegations against him came to light.
Willis is alleged to have used his position as a trusted coach to exploit young athletes. It is not uncommon for perpetrators of child sexual abuse to work or volunteer in positions that give them access to victims. PCVA has worked on many cases in which a teacher or a youth sports coach exploited their position as a trusted authority figure to harm children.
How common is sexual abuse in youth sports?
Unfortunately, the allegations against Willis are not unique. Sexual abuse in youth sports is not a rare occurrence. The Foundation for Global Sports Development, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of abuse-free sport for youth, reports that sexual abuse in sports occurs far more often than one might imagine. Conservative estimates are that between 2% to 20% of childhood athletes experience sexual harassment or abuse.
The number of criminal matters and civil lawsuits alleging abuse by coaches and other adults responsible for youth sports programs has been growing.
What are the signs of sexual abuse among minors?
The signs of sexual abuse will vary depending on the minor’s age and can present themselves physically, behaviorally, or emotionally. While there may be other causes behind some signs of abuse, it is important to trust your gut. Addressing sexual abuse can be painful, but the sooner you take action, the better off the minor in your care will be.
Among minors, warning signs can be difficult to spot but include the following:
- Evidence of trauma to the genital area
- Sudden regression to old habits such as bed-wetting or thumb sucking
- Excessive knowledge of sexual topics
- Overly compliant behavior
- Spending an excessive amount of time alone
- Changed eating habits
- Reduced self-esteem
- Lost interest in daily activities
- Sudden fear of being away from primary caregivers
Signs that an adult may be grooming a minor for future abuse include:
- Fails to respect boundaries
- Tries to be a child’s friend rather than an adult role model / does not seem to have an age-appropriate relationship.
- Spends time alone with a child outside of their role in the child’s life
- Gives gifts without reason
What is the statute of limitations in Washington State for child sex abuse?
In Washington State, a special statute of limitations allows many victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits for the abuse they suffered many years later, even as adults. The law recognizes that survivors of childhood sexual abuse may not realize or appreciate how the sexual abuse harmed them until much later in life. If you were sexually abused, please contact us so that we can confidentially explain your legal options.
How PCVA Can Help
Our nationally recognized attorneys have represented thousands of sexual abuse survivors, helping them achieve justice by holding the institutions that failed to protect them accountable and recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in damages on their behalf. Our attorneys have been involved in some of the most complicated and concerning sexual abuse cases in the country and are often consulted by other law firms for guidance and expertise when representing sexual abuse survivors.
If you have information about Julian Willis and these allegations of child sexual abuse, our attorneys are here to listen and help. Please reach out to one of our experienced lawyers by completing our online form or calling us at (253) 948-3199 or (206) 536-2850. All conversations are completely confidential.
Should I file a sex abuse lawsuit?
The decision to file a civil lawsuit over damages caused by sexual abuse is a personal one, and several factors must be considered. A lawsuit will allow you to expose the wrongs of your perpetrator and potentially receive financial compensation for your pain. However, you will have to provide information about the trauma you experienced as well as other aspects of your personal life.
PCVA’s sexual abuse attorneys are trained in trauma-informed counsel. This means that to prevent re-traumatization, we have undergone professional training on how to work with individuals who have been subjected to trauma. When you work with us, know that you are working with an advocate who represents you with the utmost empathy and care.
Our Case Results
PCVA has handled numerous cases of athlete sexual abuse. Here are links to a few examples:
- $7.5M Settlement in Athlete Sexual Abuse Case Against Black Hills Football Club
- $6M Settlement in Sexual Abuse Case Against United States Bowling Congress
- $4.2M Settlement in Athlete Sexual Abuse Case Against University Place School District
- $3M Settlement in Athlete Sexual Abuse Case Against Seattle Public Schools
- $1.5M Settlement in Athlete Sexual Abuse Case Against Black Hills Football Club