Central Pennsylvania sports camp that just settled a sexual abuse lawsuit now faces a second lawsuit

Central Pennsylvania sports camp that just settled a sexual abuse lawsuit now faces a second lawsuit

WILLIAMSPORT – A global sports company that ran a gymnastics program at its Woodward Camp in Centre County is the subject of a second lawsuit from a teenager who claims she was sexually abused.

In a similar lawsuit involving an Illinois camper, Woodward recently agreed to an $8 million settlement without admitting guilt.

Woodward denies the allegations in the second lawsuit in U.S. Middle District Court, filed by an Ontario, Canada resident who was a camper and junior counselor.

The woman attended the gymnastics camp every summer from 2013 to 2017.

In her lawsuit, filed in 2022, she accuses gymnastics coach Nathaniel Singer of sexually abusing her in the summer of 2016, when she was 17 years old and working as a counselor in the junior program at the camp.

Singer was found guilty by a Centre County court of related offenses and is serving a prison sentence of two and a half to five years, followed by three years of probation.

Singer and Brittany J. Shulman, the then director of the gymnastics camp, are defendants in the civil suit as well as in the case, which was settled.

The camp and Shulman are accused of knowing about Singer’s tendency to abuse female campers, but still hiring him annually from 2016 until his suspension in 2020.

The lawsuit states that Singer was reprimanded for violating camp rules by being alone with other campers, but he continued to do so.

The woman claims that Singer kept his hands on her body longer than other trainers during training exercises and that he began contacting her via Snapchat, occasionally sending her partially nude photos of himself.

This is her version of the sexual abuse incident:

He pressured her to sneak out of her bunk at 3 a.m. to “stargaze” in a remote part of the campground.

While lying on the floor next to her, Singer pulled her toward him, began kissing her, forced himself on her, and had inappropriate, unwanted sexual contact with her. Other campers and staff members were aware of the behavior.

During the 2017 season, another Woodward employee told Shulman about Singer’s relationship with another underage camper, but he was rehired anyway, the lawsuit says.

After Judge Matthew W. Brann ruled on the defense’s motions to dismiss last July, the remaining claim against Woodward and Shulman is for negligence.

The judge allowed a claim for vicarious liability against Woodward to proceed as it related to Shulman, but not to Singer.

He ruled that it was outside the scope of Singer’s job to persuade an underage camper to break camp rules and engage in inappropriate physical contact.

However, he concluded that Shulman’s actions in hiring and supervising Singer were within the scope of her employment.

Woodward claims that Shulman was not responsible for the gymnastics program’s hiring or disciplinary actions.

She is no longer employed because Woodward has stopped operating a gymnastics camp there, a spokesman said.