A new lawsuit alleges that a preteen was sexually abused by a former youth hockey coach connected to the San Jose Sharks, and accuses the company that owns the team of negligence regarding the alleged abuse.

The lawsuit, filed this week in Santa Clara County Court, alleges that Kevin Whitmer, a former coach of the Sharks-owned youth hockey league, the Jr. Sharks, groomed a 12-year-old in the league, per KPIX. The suit reportedly describes how Whitmer took the young boy into a locker room and performed sexual acts on the boy.

The suit claims that Sharks Ice and Sharks Sports & Entertainment, the team’s owners, had been informed several times that Whitmer was breaking locker room rules. The companies reportedly took no action.

KRON4 reports that Whitmer also allegedly exploited "several players" online by having players send photos of their abs under the pretext of evaluating their fitness, and even photographs of their semen, purportedly to assess its "health." Whitmer was employed as a head coach, private skills instructor, and player development coach for children aged eight to 18 over the past six years.

San Jose police arrested Whitmer in November of 2023 on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, as well as possession of child pornography.

Feature image of San Jose Sharks stadium during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 16, 2018 in San Jose, California. Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images,