Branson School Student Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

On behalf of a former student, Lieff Cabraser has filed a lawsuit against the elite Branson School in Marin County based on allegations the school failed to protect her from Richard Manoogian, an assistant boys basketball coach, who sexually abused her in the late 1980s. The Branson alumna’s lawsuit alleges that the head coach, Jonas Honick— a “local legend” who remains in his coaching role today — knew about the assaults and yet refused to act.

[The plaintiff], now 47, told current head basketball coach Jonas Honick about Manoogian’s abuse multiple times while she was a student and at least 10 times soon after she graduated, according to her civil complaint. She said Honick, who has won several state championships in his long tenure running the successful boys program, responded that she should keep quiet, or else the head coach could lose his job.

The lawsuit is the latest response to what is purported to be decades of abuse allegations against the Branson School. In 2019, the school published its own report, put together by an independent law firm commissioned by Branson, detailing abuse allegations made by female students against male staff members from the 1970s to 2010s. The report named four men, including Manoogian, whom investigators concluded had engaged in sexual misconduct with at least 10 girls, but left out all allegations relating to Jonas Honick.

Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser represents survivors across the U.S. who have been victimized by sexual violence and sexual abuse. We treat every client with care, respect, and compassion as we bring our comprehensive legal skills forward on each case. We have a dedicated team of lawyers, nurse consultants, and paralegals experienced in working with and listening to survivors who work individually with every client in every case to see that justice is won.

If a school, church, sports team, hospital, or another institution failed to protect you from abuse, we may be able to help you hold that institution accountable, and possibly seek compensation and practice changes to prevent that failure from happening again to you or others. We urge you to contact a survivor’s rights lawyer at Lieff Cabraser today about your potential case and recovery.

If you were the victim of abuse unrelated to a larger institution, representation by our firm may not be the best option for your situation. We encourage you to consider representation by other attorneys, as well as support from resources like (another resource for male survivors),, and

Contact us

Lieff Cabraser partner Kelly M. Dermody is leading our firm’s case on behalf of a student who suffered sexual abuse by instructors at the Branson School. You can contact Kelly by telephone at 415 956-1000 or you can use the secure confidential form below. There is no charge or obligation for your outreach, and all information will be held in the strictest confidence.

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