Ex-Brewer HS Trainer Pleads Guilty for Sexual Abuse of a Student
A former Athletic Trainer from Brewer High School has pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to the sexual abuse of a student.
Who Is the Athletic Trainer?
Benjamin Pushard, 28, of Brewer pleaded guilty to one count each of gross sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, and criminal restraint.
He was accused of allegedly sexually abusing a student between April 1st and May 10th, 2015, when the victim was 13 and Pushard was 20. That abuse allegedly continued for up to two years, into 2017. According to the BDN, the victim told authorities that she suffered emotionally and physically and lost her enjoyment of life and recreational activities.
Has the Victim Filed a Civil Suit?
In May, 2021, the victim sued Pushard, members of his family, the Brewer School Department, several of its employees, and Pushard's employer. He had been contracted by the school department to provide athletic training to the students. She's seeking $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million dollars in punitive damages.
What's the Potential Punishment for the Criminal Charges?
Pushard is currently out on $30,000 cash bail and is not allowed to contact the victim or her family. While he pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement, it does not include any sentencing recommendation. Pushard will be sentenced on June 20th.
As part of that plea agreement, several charges were dismissed, including four counts of gross sexual assault. According to the BDN, he could receive as much as 40 years in prison and fines totaling over $70,000 for the charges included in the plea.
He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.