Terry McGrath

A Call for Witnesses: Survivors of Terry McGrath

Terry McGrath was a convicted sex offender with ties to the Archdiocese of Seattle’s youth sports program. His tenure with the program spanned decades, starting in the late 1960s and lasting through 1989, when he alarmingly rose to the leadership position of Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) athletic director for the Archdiocese. During his involvement with the Archdiocese of Seattle, McGrath allegedly sexually abused multiple minor students.

PCVA is currently investigating the allegations against Terry McGrath. If you have any information pertaining to McGrath and his history of abuse, please do not hesitate to contact us. This article provides information about McGrath and his history of sexual abuse as well as information on sexual abuse in general.

PCVA is searching for anyone who has information pertaining to sexual abuse allegations against former Seattle Archdiocese CYO athletic director Terry McGrath.

Who is Terry McGrath?

McGrath was born in April of 1939 and died in February of 2022. He was 82 at the time of his death. He was approximately 6 foot 1 inches tall and had gray hair and blue eyes. According to police records, he may have had a scar on the bridge of his nose. McGrath was a former resident of California who moved to Washington State at some point in the 1960s after his release from incarceration.

What crime was Terry McGrath convicted of?

In total, McGrath was convicted on three counts, all involving sexual abuse of minors. The convictions occurred in California in 1963. The convictions included two counts of molesting a child and one count of oral copulation. As a result of these convictions, McGrath was placed on the California sex offender registry.

What are the allegations against Terry McGrath arising from his time in Washington?

Despite his conviction in California, McGrath moved to Washington State and became involved in the Archdiocese of Seattle’s youth sports programs. Specifically, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, McGrath was a volunteer coach at St. Louise Parish in Bellevue; in the 1970s, he served as a CYO volunteer at Holy Family Parish in Kirkland; and from 1976 to 1989, he was CYO athletic director for the archdiocese.

During his involvement with the Archdiocese of Seattle, McGrath allegedly sexually abused multiple minor students. In fact, the Archdiocese settled a case involving allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by McGrath for $250,000 in 2019. You can read more about that case here.

How often does sexual assault/abuse in sports occur?

Sexual abuse in sports occurs far more often than one might imagine. The Foundation for Global Sports Development, a non-profit organization focused on delivering and supporting initiatives that promote accessible, fair, and abuse-free sport for youth, reports that between 2-20% of young 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. Over the last few years, many cases of coaches accused of sexual misconduct against young athletes have been in the courts, although it is highly likely such violations are underreported.

What are the long-term impacts of sexual abuse?

The effects of sexual abuse on children can last a lifetime. The shame, guilt, fear and anger that come with suffering coach or athletic trainer sexual abuse can have far-reaching repercussions, including long-term psychological, emotional, physical and medical impacts. Often, survivors of childhood sexual abuse develop “psychological armor” to survive the experience, such that it is not unusual for survivors to go decades before beginning to understand the impact of abuse on their lives.

What should I look for in an athlete sexual abuse lawyer?

The short answer is experience, compassion and assertiveness. PCVA’s sexual abuse attorneys have successfully handled athlete sexual abuse cases for years and recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts while helping to ensure the abusive behavior of perpetrators ends. Our attorneys have undergone professional training on how to work with individuals who have been subjected to trauma, to prevent re-traumatization. When you work with us, know that you are working with an advocate who represents you with the utmost empathy and care. And equally important, we are relentless advocates and will not rest until justice on behalf of victims is achieved.

For more information on what to look for when hiring a child sexual abuse lawyer, see our article on this topic.

Why don’t victims always come forward right away?

There are many reasons why a survivor of sexual abuse might be reluctant to share their story. Fear of not being believed, shame and confusion are just some of the challenges that many victims face.

Courtney Butler, a soccer player raped by her Blackhills Football Club coach in 2005 when she was 16, refused to tell anyone at the time what had happened. Many years later, she filed a lawsuit against Blackhills, which the organization ultimately settled for $7.5 million. Butler told KIRO News, “I wish when I was younger I would’ve done something about it, but I didn’t believe in myself. I believed my perpetrator. And what I really want people to know, girls to know and guys too, I just want them to understand that there is no shame in this.”

PCVA attorney Darrell Cochran stated about the case, “Our clients and their parents are heroes for having the courage to step forward and take on this establishment when instead of standing by these sexually abused players, the Blackhills Football Club turned on them, denying that anything had happened and destroying documents to hide evidence that would help prove what had happened.”

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 Terry McGrath 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) 948-3560. All conversations are completely confidential.

Our Case Results

PCVA has handled numerous cases of both athlete and clergy sexual abuse. Here are links to a few examples: