Henry “Hank” Friedman Pled No Contest in 1981 for Similar Crimes; Abuse was Basis for 1986 Film
(Beverly Hills, CA) – Two former Beverly Hills High School students have filed a child sexual abuse lawsuit against a former teacher/coach at the school, as well as against school officials who knew, or should have known, about the abuse and did nothing to prevent or stop it.
The lawsuits, filed by Greenberg Gross and Jeff Anderson & Associates on behalf of the survivors, expose former baseball coach Henry “Hank” Friedman, who has been implicated in sexual abuse allegations by at least eight students. A 1981 movie, titled One Terrific Guy, is said to be based on actual allegations of sexual abuse at Beverly Hills High School.
The two survivors were abused between approximately 1976 and 1980 when they were 14 and 15 years old. These accusations are similar to other publicized accounts of Friedman’s predatory behavior where he is accused of sexually assaulting minor students under the guise of needing to “measure them for uniforms.” He is also accused of stalking one girl and assaulting multiple students in his office and equipment closet. Friedman concealed his on-campus sexual assaults by covering the windows so he would not be discovered.
According to the survivors, Friedman’s predatory behavior was a normalized secret around campus, and he encouraged students to yell the names of sexual organs aloud during class. He is also accused of asking female students during class if they were wearing a bra and soliciting students to participate in bogus scientific “studies.”
“Friedman’s abuse was brazen,” said attorney Jemma Dunn. “There is no doubt that he knew of and wielded his power over vulnerable girls and for his sexual gratification. The girls were forced into silence then — but these brave survivors deserve to have their voices heard now.”
The survivors filed the lawsuit under the landmark California Child Victims Act (AB 218), a law that allows survivors of child sexual abuse to utilize the civil litigation system to obtain justice, no matter when the abuse occurred. However, survivors only have until December 31, 2022, to file claims under California Child Victims Act.
In 1981, Freidman was charged for his crimes and ended up pleading no contest to contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Several Beverly Hills High School alumni have posted a petition on Change.org asking for Friedman to admit wrongdoing and for Beverly Hills High School officials to “do right” by the victims and facilitate proper child safety and sexual assault prevention protocols to keep kids safe.
“As long as men like Friedman get a free pass, kids are at risk of abuse,” said attorney Mike Reck. “When survivors have a voice in the courts, they have the power to hold predators and institutions accountable for crimes.”