Chief Judge Brann: Doe, a black student, and B.M., one of Doe’s teammates, sexually assaulted him

Photo: Myrtle Beach Police Department image (top left)

Horry County Solicitor’s Office image (top right)

Atlantica Resort room image (bottom)

By Todd Bartley,

On Thursday, Matthew W. Brann, Chief United States District Judge, issued a scathing MEMORANDUM OPINION in the federal civil rights lawsuit brought by JOHN DOE #1 who was criminally sexually assaulted during the 2018 Williamsport Area High School baseball team trip in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Chief Judge Brann offered the following in his MEMORANDUM OPINION, dated APRIL 27, 2023:

“More frequently than the Court would have it, it must address cases that “arise from unsettling facts presented by sympathetic plaintiffs”—students who suffered sexual abuse in educational settings. Unfortunately, this is one of those cases.”

Brann goes onto say, “Plaintiff John Doe sues numerous Defendants for their allegedly tortious and unconstitutional actions arising from what appears to be a hazing incident involving the Williamsport Area High School’s (“WAHS”) baseball team, the Williamsport Millionaires while in in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.”

Specifically, Brann writes,

While attending an annual baseball tournament in Myrtle Beach, Doe’s teammates

repeatedly directed racial slurs at Doe, a black student,

and B.M., one of Doe’s teammates, sexually assaulted him.”


Brann made note in his MEMORANDUM OPINION of the lack of adult supervision,

“The students were left unsupervised by Defendants Dr. Brandon Pardoe,

WAHS’s principal (whose nephew then played for the Millionaires);

Sean McCann, WAHS’s athletic director;

and Ryan Miller, WAHS’s head baseball coach.”

He further states, “One of Doe’s teammates took a video of the assault. Pardoe, McCann, and Miller attempted to destroy the video, but it was too late. The video was disseminated on social media to other WAHS students. As a result, Doe suffered constant harassment and humiliation from his peers.

It did not stop there. Eventually someone reported the incident. That report made its way to Defendant William Weber, then a detective working for the Lycoming County District Attorney’s Office. Weber, whose son formerly played for the Millionaires, undertook to personally investigate the incident.

Weber and the other Defendants allegedly swept the incident under the rug, intentionally withholding information, such as the video of the assault, from the Myrtle Beach Police Department (“MBPD”). During the investigation, Defendant Fred A. Holland, the solicitor for Defendant Williamsport Area School District (“WASD”) became involved with the investigation. Eventually, Weber concluded that WAHS appropriately handled the situation and closed his investigation. The only consequent discipline was a two-game suspension of B.M. and the student who took the video.”

Chief Judge Brann took special notice of the depth of the case and alleged misconduct engaged in;

“That would not be the end of this ill-fated saga. The story of Doe’s assault then found its way to the press.

The MBPD subsequently became involved and contacted Defendants for information. Attorneys at the Lycoming County District Attorney, including the prosecutor charged with investigating and prosecuting juvenile offenses, then learned about the incident for the first time. Defendants purposefully omitted relevant information in their communications with both local and Myrtle Beach law enforcement personnel.

Weber claimed the matter was resolved as no crimes had been committed,

despite B.M.’s admission to Weber that he touched Doe with his genitalia.


WASD issued a public statement claiming that the matter was handled appropriately

and there were no personal conflicts,

despite both Pardoe and Weber’s connections to the Millionaires.

Eventually, the Lycoming County District Attorney referred the case to the Office of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania (“OAG”).”

Chief Judge Brann seemed perplexed by the decisions relating to criminal charges made by Office of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania (“OAG”) in his MEMORANDUM OPINION.

“OAG investigated the matter and executed search warrants

for Weber’s and Pardoe’s phones and emails,

but later closed the investigation without explanation.”

“The District Attorney explained that the investigation was closed because of its failure to properly supervise its detectives, a deficiency that it subsequently addressed by issuing new policies.”

The entire MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER are accessible by clicking the underlying links.

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