ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A former high school football coach accused of raping female students was in court Tuesday on a separate charge.
Damien Hyatt is accused of raping a disabled student when he was a senior at Moriarty High School, before he became a coach there. Hyatt pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and false imprisonment.
Hyatt is facing separate charges that he raped young women after he graduated, while he was helping coach the football team. Now those victims are filing a federal civil lawsuit against him and the police department, saying the department could have stopped him.
Shannon Kennedy represents a number of victims and their families suing Hyatt and the Moriarty Police Department.
“When you have a public employee, a position of authority, a coach. They cannot abuse that position of authority,” said Kennedy.
The lawsuit is sealed. However, Kennedy claims the suit looks into Hyatt’s rape of a disabled girl in 2011. It asks why the police department didn’t arrest him then, failed to process the rape kit, and failed to interview other young women Hyatt mentioned having sexual relations with.
“Had they spoken to those women, they would have discovered someone who was systematically and repeatedly assaulting young women,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy said Hyatt used his position as a coach to extort his victims into taking nude photos, then placing them on a website called “Moriarty Nudes” so young people within the community could view them.
Kennedy said that the number of victims who have come forward to provide evidence against Hyatt is “shocking.”
KRQE News 13 reached out to the Moriarty Police Department for comment but have not heard back.