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Mater Dei football players:

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    An Orange County attorney for three Mater Dei High School football players in a pair of high-profile cases that have drawn national attention has been disbarred for misappropriating more than $500,000 in funds from multiple clients, the State Bar confirmed. David M. Nisson of Tustin was disbarred this month after the State Bar found that between November 2013 and December 2020, Nisson “made numerous improper withdrawals” from accounts for six clients, according to State Bar court filings. The improper withdrawals totaled $511,409.69, according to the filings. The improper withdrawals were unrelated to the Mater Dei cases. “From 2013 to 2021, Nisson represented six clients in personal injury claims,” the State Bar said in a report. “During that time, he made numerous improper withdrawals from their client trust accounts, misappropriating more than $500,000 in client funds for his own personal use. The largest misappropriation from a single client totaled more than $379,000.” The State Bar filed six counts of moral turpitude and misappropriation charges against Nisson on Oct. 6 alleging he “engaged in a major misappropriation of client funds.” The most...
    A Mater Dei High School football player told the Santa Ana Police Department that he was sexually assaulted by teammates in the school’s locker room last August, according to a police report. The report is the latest revelation of alleged hazing and sexual harassment and assault by Mater Dei football players within the school’s locker rooms. According to the report, the Mater Dei player told police “he was sexually assaulted by several members of the football team in the locker room” on August 31. The victim stated, the report said, “teammates pulled out their penises and showed them to him while holding him down on the ground. Incident was reported to his coach (UNK NAME) who then reported it to school officials. “One teammate also began humping (victim) from behind with his pants on. (Victim) did not report any injuries and denied penetration. “He is now experiencing anxiety due to incident.” The Los Angeles Times broke the story on the report on Monday evening. The incident raises new questions about the culture within the nation’s premier high school football program...
    A handful of short sentences written by a police dispatcher laid out the allegation in stark detail. In a locker room at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, several football players forced a teammate to the floor and exposed their genitals. Then they held him down, as one player “began humping” him from behind, through his pants. The incident happened in late August, according to a Santa Ana Police Department document, two weeks after the student started school at Mater Dei, home to one of the country’s most celebrated high school football programs. He wasn’t physically hurt, but the episode left him suffering from anxiety, police said in the document. He left Mater Dei shortly afterward. The document, which The Times obtained through a public records request, is a single-page, eight-sentence description of the alleged assault that the Police Department entered into its computer system Sept. 16. The document does not address whether the Aug. 31 claim of sexual assault was investigated, or whether students, school officials or family members contacted police. The document said the incident...
    Mater Dei High School president Father Walter Jenkins has resigned amid tensions between Jenkins and longtime Mater Dei head football coach Bruce Rollinson and his supporters. Jenkins’ departure comes just days before attorneys for a Sacramento law firm are scheduled to start interviewing Mater Dei students and staff as part of an investigation into the culture of the Monarch football and athletic programs. The investigation, commissioned by Jenkins in November, is in response to a series of Orange County Register reports detailing alleged assaults by three Monarch football players on a teammate and classmate. The Register reports attracted national attention and prompted increasing calls for Rollinson and Mater Dei principal Frances Clare’s firings even as Mater Dei rolled to national championship. Jenkins’ departure was announced Saturday in a letter to the Mater Dei community by Erin C.O. Barisano, Diocese of Orange superintendent of schools. READ THE LETTER Barisano said Jenkins has returned to Holy Cross order in South Bend, Indiana where he will “take on a new assignment.” “As Superintendent Barisano noted in her letter to the Mater Dei family,...
    Videos showing Mater Dei High School football players acting out simulated sex acts on other players, alleged hazing and fights in the school’s locker room will be part of an investigation into the culture of the Monarch football and athletic programs, the Orange County Register has learned. Mater Dei president Father Walter Jenkins confirmed that the two videos from 2018 obtained by the Register will be part of a Mater Dei commissioned investigation by a Sacramento law firm into football and athletic programs. Jenkins’ confirmation that the videos will be included in the scope of the probe came two days before the Diocese of Orange announced on Saturday that he was stepping down as president. The investigators are scheduled to begin interviewing Mater Dei students and staff on Thursday. One video is a compilation of events taking place largely in the Mater Dei football locker room and begins with a Monarch player sneaking up behind a smaller player and placing a bag or pillowcase over the head of the smaller player who is then surrounded by other...
    An attorney for three Mater Dei High School football players accused of beating a teammate and another Mater Dei student has been declared ineligible practice law by the State Bar Court. David M. Nisson, a Tustin attorney, was declared ineligible Dec. 13 after being charged with “willfully” misappropriating more than $500,000 in client funds in cases unrelated to the Mater Dei altercations, according to State Bar Court documents. The State Bar filed six counts of moral turpitude and misappropriation charges against Nisson on Oct. 6 alleging he “engaged in a major misappropriation of client funds.” Between November 2013 and December 2020, Nisson “made numerous improper withdrawals” from accounts for six clients, according to State Bar Court filings. The improper withdrawals totaled $511,409.69, according to the filings. “A petition for inactive enrollment is pending, alleging that this attorney represents a substantial threat of harm to the interests of the attorney’s clients or the public,” the State Bar said on its website. Nisson in an interview acknowledged the seriousness of the charges. “It was personal injury...
    Hoisted upon the shoulders of his players, fresh leis piled high around his neck, Bruce Rollinson looked out upon thousands of faithful fans who had braved 48-degree weather to watch Mater Dei High School win its third state football championship in five years. A chant — “Rollo! Rollo!” — began to echo from the stands. But rather than stay on the field for postgame interviews with his star players, Rollinson was quickly hustled away by a knot of security guards and assistant coaches when journalists approached him. The Monarchs’ resounding win on Dec. 11 capped a month of external scrutiny for Rollinson and the school’s storied athletic program, following a lawsuit that accuses Mater Dei and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange of trying to cover up a brutal locker room altercation that left a player with a traumatic brain injury. Allegations of scandals at schools often lead to protests by students, petitions circulated by alumni, and other calls for change. Not at Mater Dei, which has one of the nation’s best high school football programs. Employees, parents,...
    A Mater Dei High School student athlete suffered a broken jaw in an attack orchestrated by a classmate and carried out by two football players who repeatedly punched him in the head and the face, according to a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court. The details of the beating, described in a May lawsuit and first reported this week, follow weeks of controversy over the conduct of players and adults involved in the storied Santa Ana football program. A lawsuit filed late last month accused the school of a culture of hazing following a a violent locker-room altercation that left a new player with a traumatic brain injury. Mater Dei, the consensus No. 1 team in the nation, will play in the state championship Saturday against San Mateo Serra. The lawsuit over the athlete’s broken jaw was first reported by the Orange County Register. The complaint describes an “orchestrated attack” in 2019 planned by a Mater Dei student who “erroneously” believed that a basketball player had shared an embarrassing video of him online. The student tracked...
    As Mary Hall recently read about an alleged Mater Dei High School football program hazing incident earlier this year that left one player with a traumatic brain injury and broken nose, her family’s own nightmare came flashing back. “It brought it all back,” Hall said. Chase Hall, Mary’s son and a Mater Dei basketball player, allegedly was attacked and beaten by two Mater Dei football players as he left a gathering in Irvine shortly after midnight on May 5, 2019, according to police reports obtained by the Orange County Register. Chase Hall required surgery to repair his broken jaw. “I’ll never forget what the surgeon said,” Mary Hall said while discussing the punch that broke her son’s jaw. She choked up and for a moment was unable to speak. “He said if it had been a quarter-inch higher,” she finally continued, “he would have been gone. “He would be dead.” Hall spoke a week after a Register report detailed how a current Mater Dei football player punched a teammate, 50 pounds lighter...
    Mater Dei High School head coach Bruce Rollinson stood near a statue of the Virgin Mary in the school’s grotto, a short walk from the football field Thursday morning. Four Monarchs players had just led parents, alumni and fans in part of a Rosary at the end of a morning that had been both prayerful and profane, part football practice, part pep rally punctuated with talk of the values of the nationally top-ranked football program and a school whose motto is “Honor, Glory, Love.” Mater Dei was a day away from a CIF Southern Section Division I championship game showdown with Servite and a shot at a third national title in five years. But a game that had sold out within a matter of hours this week will played against the backdrop of growing calls for Rollinson’s and Mater Dei principal Frances Clare’s firings following an Orange County Register report detailing the coach and school’s handling of a violent hazing incident earlier this year. A current Mater Dei player punched a teammate, 50 pounds lighter than him,...
    “Where’s your watch?” The shout from a Mater Dei High School football player alerted his teammates to two players about to square off in the school’s freshman locker room for Bodies, an initiation or hazing ritual where players punch each other in the torso between the hips and shoulders until one of them surrenders. On this afternoon, prior to a Mater Dei practice in February, one of the participants, 5-foot-9, 175 pounds and a newcomer to the team, paced uneasily, shirtless, a chain with a crucifix dangling around his neck, while his opponent, more than 50 pounds heavier, moved from side to side in a narrow area near the room’s red lockers. “Got the timer right here, guy,” a player can be heard yelling over laughter on a video of the incident. “Ready, three, two, one, go.” And with that, the two players began punching each other in a fight that eventually moved to the varsity locker room where they continued to brawl beneath “COURAGE, PRIDE, POISE” painted in large letters on the walls as some...
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