After it was thought to be over being expelled from every major volleyball organization in the country, Rick Butler has another lawsuit against him.
Laura Mullen has pressed a class-action lawsuit against Butler. Mullen is contending that Butler, his wife and club covered up a number of serious sexual abuse and misconduct allegations made against him over many years. This included Butler and his wife pressuring assault victims to remain silent and threatening them with negative consequences if they did not comply.
The case has been picked up by Jay Edelson of Edelson PC, who will be representing Mullen pro bono.
This saga began back in the 1980s when the abuse of at least four players took place but was not spoken out about until 1995. In 1995, Butler was banned from USA Volleyball because of the allegations, but this was lifted just five years later with the stipulation that Butler never coach a youth team through the organization ever again. This ban, however, did not stop Butler from being able to coach youth players through the AAU.
Sarah Powers-Barnhard was one of the victims to speak out against Butler, setting up the original lawsuit. Her first attempt at the lawsuit was flawed but fixed in time for a January 2018 meeting that would decide his fate. Because of this lawsuit, USA Volleyball confirmed the lifetime ban of Butler from the organization. Following suit, the AAU and Junior Volleyball Association (an organization he helped to form), banned him as well.
This ban has had considerable repercussions for Butler and his facilities, with the University of Wisconsin and Marquette University canceling their spring matches from his Great Lakes Volleyball Center. Additionally, USA Badminton also moved one of their national tournaments from his Aurora gym.