Levy Konigsberg is investigating potential claims from victims who were sexually abused by Shannon James Guay, a former gymnastics coach from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Guay, who was also known as “Coach Jake,” is currently facing charges over his abuse of more than a dozen underage female victims, including several victims who were abused between 2006 and 2008 while he was employed at Aerials & Baranis Gymnastics in Grand Rapids. Since Guay’s arrest, a growing number of survivors have stepped forward with accusations that Guay sexually abused them, and authorities suspect there may be others.
If you or someone you love were sexually abused by Shannon James Guay, you may have grounds to pursue a civil sexual abuse lawsuit and a financial recovery of your damages.
Levy Konigsberg is an award-winning trial practice known nationally for litigating sexual abuse claims and helping survivors fight for justice. To speak with an attorney during a FREE and confidential consultation, call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online.
Criminal Filings Detail Allegations Against Shannon James Guay
Shannon James Guay currently faces over 20 counts of criminal sexual conduct related to his alleged sexual abuse of multiple underage victims. Here’s a timeline detailing the criminal case against Guay:
- In May 2023, Guay was arrested in Florida on six counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and seven counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct over allegations that he sexually abused five girls between 2006 and 2008 while he was employed at Aerials & Baranis Gymnastics in Grand Rapids.
- In June 2023, the Kent County Prosecutor's Office reported that over a dozen other victims stepped forward with allegations that they were also abused by Guay and that additional charges were filed. The new charges against Guay mean that he now faces 21 counts of criminal sexual conduct involving 10 separate victims. In a press conference, Kent County Prosecutors stated that there were another three potential victims who came forward, but due to their age and when the abuse occurred, prosecutors were unable to move forward with charges.
Guay worked in gymnastics, martial arts, and dance studios throughout West Michigan from the 1990s through 2010. He also lived in Washington from 1997 through 2004, in California from 2012 through 2020, Texas from 2020 through 2022, and Florida from 2022 until his arrest in May 2023.
Given Guay’s work history, various residences, and the number of survivors who have already stepped forward, authorities suspect there may be additional victims.
Pending Legislation Could Open Pathways to Justice for Sex Abuse Victims
While Kent County prosecutors have noted that the statute of limitations prevented them from charging Guay in connection to crimes committed against several of the victims who have stepped forward, a series of proposed measures pending in the Michigan legislature could expand the rights of victims to pursue civil lawsuits for financial compensation.
If passed, the proposed legislation would create new opportunities for sexual abuse survivors to file civil claims and recover compensation for their damages against Mr. Guay and any institutions that enabled his abuse. This includes survivors who were abused as minors by Shannon Guay – even if their claims were barred under previous state law because their abuse occurred years ago.
The two main components of the proposed law include:
- Expansion of the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse lawsuits, which would allow victims abused as minors to file claims until the age of 52.
- Creation of a temporary 2-year lookback window that would allow survivors to file claims over abuse that occurred at any time in the past.
Read more about the proposed changes to Michigan’s sexual abuse laws.
Our sexual abuse team at Levy Konigsberg is actively helping survivors across Michigan explore their legal options both under current law and the proposed new law that would allow new pathways to seek justice. Our attorneys and staff handle these cases with the utmost compassion and are available to speak with survivors who were abused by Shannon Guay at any time in the past.
Do I Have a Case?
Sexual abuse lawsuits are civil claims that focus on securing justice for survivors. While these claims may name abusers as defendants, they are typically also filed against employers, entities, and institutions that failed to protect victims and appropriately prevent, investigate, or handle abuse committed by employees.
This means that you may have a potential claim if:
- You were sexually abused by Shannon Guay while he was employed as a gymnastics coach at Aerials & Baranis Gymnastics in Grand Rapids.
- You were abused by Guay while he was employed at any other gymnastics facility, martial arts studio, or dance studio in any city or state.
Levy Konigsberg: Leaders in Sexual Abuse Litigation
Levy Konigsberg’s sexual abuse litigation team is trusted by clients and colleagues across the country to handle the most difficult cases. Comprised of award-winning attorneys, we’ve represented survivors in claims against the Catholic Church, government entities, universities, and other powerful institutions that failed to protect victims from abuse.
Our team is available to help survivors abused by Shannan Guay with questions about their rights and legal options – whether that means filing claims now under current laws or in the future should Michigan lawmakers expand the child sex abuse statute of limitations and create a temporary filing window.
To request a FREE and confidential consultation with an attorney from our team, call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online.