The Army of Survivors Commends Courageous Athlete Survivors Amid Mistrial Verdict in the Criminal Trial Against Former SJSU Athletic Trainer

MICHIGAN (August 4, 2023) – With the trial of former SJSU Athletic trainer, Scott Shaw, ending in a mistrial, The Army of Survivors (TAOS) publicly acknowledges the courageousness of the athlete-survivors who have chosen to disclose their lived experiences. The mistrial verdict of Shaw, who was charged with “civil rights violations for engaging in sexual misconduct with female student-athletes [from 2017-2022] under the guise of treating them for their injuries” (Department of Justice, March 10, 2022), is an unfortunate and troubling circumstance that places many athlete-survivors at risk for retraumatization. During such cases, TAOS expresses its concern for the well-being of the athlete-survivors who have come forward and acknowledges the complexities of navigating a potential re-trial. TAOS Co-Founder and Board Member Dr. Danielle Moore said, “A mistrial in a sexual violence case means not only potential retraumatization for the survivors, but it also means that some may question the legitimacy of the survivors’ reports during the time it takes for a re-trial to take place; hence it is crucial that we stand with and support the survivors during this delicate time.”

In many ways, the Scott Shaw case paralleled the case that inspired TAOS’ founding members to form the organization and creates a reminder that the past is a poignant prediction of the future when system changes have not occurred. In both cases, athletes filed reports of abuse years before any legal action took place. In the case of Shaw, 17 swimmers are reported to have disclosed cases of abuse resulting in an H.R. investigation that was ultimately dismissed. In the Larry Nasser case, at least 500+ athletes were abused by the now-defamed and imprisoned MSU Sports Medicine Doctor before legal action was taken. Had the mounting number of reports been adequately investigated in either case, future instances of abuse likely could have been prevented. This unfortunate reality emphasizes the continued need for TAOS, the only organization dedicated to preventing sexual assault in sport, as well as the need for reform in both legal policy and reporting procedures. 

TAOS is offering resources to all athlete-survivors who may need them during this challenging time, and those in need of support are directed to contact TAOS Director of Programs, Kacey Long, M.S.W. at or RAINN at 1-800-656-4673.

About TAOS

The Army of Survivors is a global leader in advocating for survivors of sexual assault in sport. The nonprofit organization was founded in 2018 by more than 40 survivors of sexual violence that was enabled by USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the FBI. This unique history allows TAOS to bring awareness to the systemic problem of sexual abuse of athletes from the lens of athlete survivors, and everything continues to be done with athlete survivors at the center of the work. The goal is to end sexual violence in sports by ensuring all perpetrators, those who collude with perpetrators, and those who fail to act are held accountable; creating transparency in reporting; building an environment where athletes do not fear retaliation when reporting abuse; and advocating for meaningful change that supports athlete survivors.

TAOS’ mission is to bring awareness, accountability, and transparency to sexual abuse against athletes at all levels, from elite to non-elite since the culture of sports that tacitly supports sexual abuse against athletes does not discriminate based on an athlete’s ability. Our work is athlete survivor-founded, survivor-led, and trauma-informed, and we carry out our work through three pillars that support TAOS’ mission: education, resources, and advocacy.