Articles Posted in USA Swimming Coaching Sexual Abuse

Attorney Robert Allard has played a significant role in holding USA Swimming accountable for sexual abuse within the organization. Allard has represented numerous survivors of sexual abuse in cases involving USA Swimming, and has been a vocal critic of the organization’s handling of abuse allegations.

There is a long history of sexual abuse within USA Swimming, with allegations dating back several decades. The organization has been criticized for its handling of abuse allegations, and survivors have accused USA Swimming of failing to take adequate steps to protect athletes from abuse.

Some of the most high-profile cases of sexual abuse within USA Swimming include:

New lawsuit by Cerri, Boskovich & Allard alleges USA Swimming’s quest for profit allowed serial sexual predator Andy King to abuse young East Bay swimmer

Yet another swimmer has come forward alleging disgraced coach Andy King sexually abused her after he was first exposed as a pedophile.

The allegations are contained in a new lawsuit filed by the law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard that says King used his position of authority “to manipulate and sexually assault over a dozen female swimmers over a 30-year period,” including “A.H.”

The sexual abuse lawsuit brought forth by Olympian Ariana Kukors Smith has been resolved nearly two years after Mrs. Kukors Smith filed the action. The monetary settlement reached by USA Swimming’s insurance companies and Mrs. Kukors Smith will allow the 2012 Olympian to re-focus on the sport that she loves and to begin healing.

“I am glad that we were able to come to a resolution to this difficult process. As I begin the next chapter of my life, I hope that these last two years, along with the efforts of so many others, will help to provide athletes with a safer environment in which to compete,” Mrs. Kukors Smith said.

USA Swimming added the following: Throughout this process, Mrs. Kukors Smith has shown incredible strength and bravery and offered a powerful voice to all survivors. In sharing her story, Mrs. Kukors Smith thrust the very important subject matter of sexual abuse within youth serving organizations into focus and furthered important dialogue about the continued need for robust athlete protection policies and strong athlete and parent education.

Three lawsuits filed against USA Swimming allege it enabled sexual predator-coaches to abuse young girls

Six victims identify former coaches Everett Uchiyama, Mitch Ivey and Andy King as their sexual abusers; King is a convicted child molester who is serving 40 years for his crimes.

The three lawsuits that were filed in early June 2020 are the latest volley against USA Swimming, which has come under fire for decades for condoning a culture that allowed young girls to be repeatedly abused by their coaches.

The January 2019 arrest of Stockton Swim Club Coach Shunichi Fujishima has exposed yet another youth athletic organization that ignored its duty to protect the children in its care.

Fujishima, 23, faces criminal charges that he had unlawful sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl he was coaching at the Stockton Swim Club. The club is now listed as “permanently closed” on the social media site Yelp.

Fujishima was also charged with committing lewd and lascivious acts upon a child and possession of child pornography. He remains incarcerated in the San Joaquin County jail on $1.8 million bond.

Stockton Swim Club coach Shunichi Fujishima, also known as Coach Shun, is facing child sexual abuse charges following his arrest for sexual penetration with force with a child under 14 years old, sending harmful material to a minor, oral copulation, and two counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child.  Meanwhile, “investigators are looking for possible additional victims,” police said in a news release. Stockton Swim Club is a member of USA Swimming, the organization responsible for competitive swimming in the United States and under investigation for failing to protect hundreds of young swimmers from coaching sexual abuse.

Stockton Swim Club parents reportedly received an email stating that Coach Shunichi Fujishima would no longer be coaching, but they were provided with no other details. In numerous cases, swim clubs or USA Swimming have tried to keep parents in the dark in an effort to protect their image or reputation.

In cases involving popular swim coaches, it is not unusual for parents to quickly come to the defense of the accused swim coach, leaving the victim and parents of the victim feeling isolated and alone. The reason is that sexual predators not only go to great lengths to earn the trust of their victims but they also work on earning the trust of the community, in this case, swim parents. This is the predatory grooming behavior.

Olympian Ariana Kukors Smith, in a lawsuit filed in California, alleges that her swim coach sexually abused her as a minor, and that the sport’s governing body covered up the abuse. Attorney Robert Allard, representing Kukors Smith, is suing USA Swimming for the abuse she alleges she suffered by her swim coach, Sean Hutchison. Mr. Allard was joined at the press conference to announce the lawsuit by legal team members attorney Ray Mendoza and sex crimes investigator Michael Leininger.

The lawsuit claims USA Swimming manipulated background check procedures as a method of covering up Hutchison’s actions and mishandled the investigation into the allegations against the swim coach.

Kukors Smith is a 2012 Olympian. Mr. Allard stated in a press conference that the goal of the lawsuit was to force USA Swimming to “accept responsibility for allowing, and in fact, enabling a known predator coach to molest for almost a decade sexually, my client Ariana Smith…”

It has taken nearly eight years, but the efforts of attorney Robert Allard along with numerous advocates and athletes to rid the sport of swimming of sexual abuse are starting to pay off. With reports that almost 600 USA Swimmers have been sexually abused by coaches and officials, USA Swimming today announced the resignations of two key employees, Club Development Managing Director Pat Hogan and Safe Sport Director Susan Woessner.

Hogan was one of the top leaders in the organization. But he also was part of the culture that enabled the sexual abuse of young athletes to take place over many decades. Hogan married the very swimmer he once coached, proclaiming that she was 18 when he married her. He also provided cover for admitted pedophile and former USA National Team Director Everett Uchiyama. It was Hogan who provided Uchiyama with a glowing job recommendation with a Colorado Springs County Club after Uchiyama secretly resigned over sexual abuse allegations.

20/20 Exposes USA Swimming Sexual Abuse

ABC’s Brian Ross and 20/20 expose the USA Swimming sexual abuse scandal.

An explosive report from the Orange County Register claims that a culture inside USA Swimming allowed the sexual abuse of 600 young swimmers by more than 250 coaches. Investigative reporter Scott Reid, longtime reporter of Olympic sports and one of the first to document sexual abuse inside USA Gymnastics, reports that “USA Swimming board members and coaches were aware of statutory rape cases that occurred during U.S. national team trips to major international competitions.”

The news article also states that “top USA Swimming executives, board members, top officials, and coaches acknowledge in the documents that they were aware of sexually predatory coaches for years, in some cases even decades, but did not take action against them.”

100s of USA swimmers were sexually abused for decades and the people in charge knew and ignored it, investigation finds

Tips to keep your child safe from coaching sex abuse at USA Swimming clubs and YMCA pools

Despite recent stories of USA Swimming coaching sex abuse, swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, and the success of famous athletes such as Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin inspires children across the nation to start swim lessons with USA Swimming Clubs, YMCA programs, or municipal summer recreation pools. All too frequently, however, coaches abuse their close relationships with young athletes, and take sexual advantage of them. The problem of coaching sex abuse is worsened when the supervising organization, rather than taking steps to protect the victim and any other children under its care, tries to preserve its reputation by covering up the actions of the coach turned predator.

One of the biggest coaching sex abuse scandals in youth athletics in recent years continues to involve USA Swimming. So far, over a hundred coaches working for USA Swimming’s member clubs have been permanently banned from the sport for molesting, groping, and secretly filming the young athletes under their care.

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