Calif. school district reaches $31 million settlement with families of students molested by ex-wrestling coach

Attorneys representing the victims of former Torrance (Calif.) wrestling coach Thomas Snider announced a $31 million settlement Wednesday, according to KABC-TV.

Snider was found guilty in October 2016 of 26 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child 14 or 15 years old, three counts of felony lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, and eight misdemeanor counts of child molesting.

RELATED: Former Calif. wrestling coach sentenced to more than 60 years in prison for molestation

Snider was sentenced to 64 years and eight months in prison.

Prosecutors say Snider would do “skin checks” on the students, all between the ages of 13 and 16 and members of his wrestling team, which would lead to him touching their genitals. It was also accused he would watch them shower and give massages.

Snider was a wrestling coach in 1995, 1996 and from 2013 to 2015.

Per KABC-TV, Torrance Unified School District Superintendent George Mannon issued a statement Wednesday saying students’ safety remains a top priority for the district.

“The safety of all students in the Torrance Unified School District is a primary concern for all of us. We have continually reviewed our efforts to enhance student safety and are committed to continuing our efforts. One of the resources the District now provides every high school student is a list of crisis hotlines on the back of their identification cards. Students can call any of the numbers (anonymously) and get immediate support or help. As always, we encourage students if you See Something, Say Something.

This settlement spares these students and their families the difficulties of a protracted trial, while at the same time being mindful of the financial consequences stemming from settlements. As a result, we believe we have struck a reasonable balance between these objectives.

Our priority has been to resolve these cases without the need for potentially painful litigation for these families. We know these settlements will provide for the future needs of these students. We believe this will help close this chapter for these families.”

A statement from a parent of a former student was read in court, KABC-TV reported during the trial.

“I will never forgive you. You are an evil and vile excuse of a human being. You are a monster that hunted and abused our children like prey in the wild. You deserve every ounce of suffering and pain coming your way, and I pray you die slowly and that your soul burns in hell.”

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