WASD Solicitor Fred Holland excoriated by Chief Judge Brann in 2018 WAHS baseball case

Williamsport Area School District Solicitor Fred Holland

By Todd Bartley, TalkWilliamsport.com


In the MEMORANDUM OPINION issued by Matthew W. Brann, Chief United States District Judge, on Thursday, he took particular issue with Williamsport Area School District Solicitor Fred Holland.

The MEMORANDUM OPINION is based on 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.

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


Chief Judge Brann offered the following on Page 23 in his MEMORANDUM OPINION, dated APRIL 27, 2023:

“The second factor—the social utility of Holland’s conduct—also weighs against finding a duty. Holland was performing an important public function by generally serving as WASD’s solicitor and by investigating the alleged misconduct.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly recognition of the importance of Holland’s function is evident in 24 P.S. § 4-406, which authorizes school boards to appoint solicitors at their discretion.

On Page 24 Chief Judge Brann adds;

“Holland is already subject to regulation as a member of the bar for his conduct as WASD’s solicitor.

Doe responds by directing the Court’s attention to his allegations that Holland was involved in conduct that may have violated several criminal statutes.

Putting aside the issue of whether Doe plausibly alleges violation of those statutes,

the criminal nature of those statutes is an indication

that the Pennsylvania General Assembly did not intend to vindicate the public’s interest

in combatting such misconduct through private civil actions.


“The Court notes that the same conduct underlies both Doe’s Title IX claim

and his negligence claims, so he is not left without a remedy.”


In footnote reference 113:

“Although Holland is not personally liable under Title IX,

his actions may form the basis of WASD’s Title IX liability as he is WASD’s agent.”


Early on in the investigation conducted by TalkWilliamsport.com, Holland characterized the Myrtle Beach incident as “indecent and inappropriate behavior on the part of a baseball player during the team’s spring trip.”


In August of 2018, Talk Williamsport received the following from the Williamsport Area High School Solicitor Fred Holland, of the local law firm Holland Murphy, Butterfield, & Holland, P.C. in response to a request for information for the original Millionaire Mayhem story:

“Hello, Todd.

Near the end of the school year, an incident involving indecent and inappropriate behavior on the part of a baseball player during the team’s spring trip was brought to the attention of District officials. A prompt investigation was done, and appropriate discipline was imposed. By the time the District was aware of the incident, law enforcement officials had already been contacted.”

As a follow-up, Talk Williamsport reached out to the Lycoming County District Attorney’s Office for comment on the story at the time and received the following from the lead attorney for juvenile cases, Jeff Yates:

“Mr. Bartley: Based on case law and the Juvenile Act I cannot respond to your inquiry.”

South Carolina law enforcement officials retain jurisdiction in any potential criminal complaint since that is where the incidents occurred.

Are taxpayers who fund the largest school district by size of student population and operating budget in Lycoming County entitled to a definition of indecent and inappropriate behavior on the part of a baseball player during the team’s 2018 spring trip?

In the 2017-2018 Safe Schools reports filed by the Williamsport Area School District with the Pennsylvania Department of Education “0” was the response for Indecent Assaults occurring during that time period.


Holland is currently employed by the Williamsport law firm, McNerney Page Vanderlin & Hall.


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

This is an exclusive and developing story on TalkWilliamsport.com.