Torrance USD reaches $31M settlement with families of students molested by ex-wrestling coach

TORRANCE, Calif. (KABC) -- The Torrance Unified School District will pay $31 million to settle a lawsuit surrounding an ex-wrestling coach convicted of molesting at least two dozen students.

Attorneys representing the victims of former Torrance High School wrestling coach Thomas Snider made the announcement about the settlement on Wednesday.

MORE: Ex-Torrance school wrestling coach gets 64 years in prison for child molestation

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A former Torrance high school wrestling coach convicted of sex-related charges involving 25 boys on his team was sentenced to 64 years and eight months on Friday.

Snider was found guilty in October 2016 of 26 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child 14 or 15 years old, three felony counts of felony lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, and eight misdemeanor counts of child molesting.

He was sentenced to 64 years and eight months in prison.

Prosecutors said the victims, more than two dozen teenage boys ranging in age from 13 to 16, were members of Snider's wrestling team.

Snider was a wrestling coach in 1995, 1996 and from 2013 to 2015. Authorities said Snider would molest the children under the guise of inspecting for skin diseases.

During the inspections, prosecutors said Snider would make the teens take off their clothes and would touch their genitals. Prosecutors also said Snider would watch the boys take showers and massaged several of them.

Torrance Unified School District Superintendent George Mannon issued a statement Wednesday saying students' safety remains a top priority for the district, which encourages students to report suspicious behavior.

"The safety of all students in the Torrance Unified School District is a primary concern for all of us. We have continually reviewed our efforts to enhance student safety and are committed to continuing our efforts. One of the resources the District now provides every high school student is a list of crisis hotlines on the back of their identification cards. Students can call any of the numbers (anonymously) and get immediate support or help. As always, we encourage students if you See Something, Say Something.

This settlement spares these students and their families the difficulties of a protracted trial, while at the same time being mindful of the financial consequences stemming from settlements. As a result, we believe we have struck a reasonable balance between these objectives.

Our priority has been to resolve these cases without the need for potentially painful litigation for these families. We know these settlements will provide for the future needs of these students. We believe this will help close this chapter for these families."
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