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Lawsuit alleges that son of former Husker athletic director sexually assaulted a 12-year-old

Lawsuit alleges that son of former Husker athletic director sexually assaulted a 12-year-old

LINCOLN — A civil lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges that the son of former Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy in the family’s Lincoln home in 2017.

The lawsuit, filed by the boy’s mother, names not only the son, Jack Eichorst, but also his parents in seeking unspecified damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering, as well reimbursement of medical and mental health counseling bills.

Jack Eichorst (copy)

Jack Eichorst

A lawyer who represents the Eichorsts, Vince Powers of Lincoln, said that the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office looked into the allegation back in 2017 and opted not to file charges.

“There’s nothing there. It has no legal or factual basis,” Powers said. “The sad part is these two young men can’t go on with their lives without this litigation.”

The alleged assault, according to the lawsuit, occurred during a sleepover at the Eichorsts’ Lincoln home on Oct. 20, 2017.

That was about a month after the elder Eichorst had been dismissed as athletic director at NU after five years on the job and some disappointing football seasons. He now works for the business office of the University of Texas athletic department.

Jack Eichorst, then 18, was taken into custody by Lincoln police in November 2017 on suspicion of sexual assault. After an investigation, no assault charges were filed.

But Eichorst was bound over to stand trial on charges of distribution of child pornography, a felony, and possession of such pornography, a misdemeanor. He later agreed to a plea deal and was convicted of two misdemeanors and sentenced to serve six months in jail.

At the time of his sentencing, the Eichorst family issued a statement that Jack was unsophisticated for his age.

“Jack has significant developmental disabilities and special needs who lives a very private and dependent life. We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support for Jack,” the statement read.

In Wednesday’s lawsuit, the mother of the alleged victim, identified only as “Jane Doe,” said that the Eichorsts should have known of their son’s attraction to younger children and were negligent in not exercising a “duty of reasonable care” to protect the 12-year-old visitor.

Powers, the attorney for the Eichorsts, disputed the existence of such a legal duty.

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Reporter - Regional/state issues

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues. He specializes in tax and transportation issues, following the governor and the state prison system. Follow him on Twitter @PaulHammelOWH. Phone: 402-473-9584.

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