USA Swimming Coaching Sexual Abuse & Molestation

San Jose sexual abuse victims' rights attorney Robert Allard is filing separate sex abuse lawsuits against USA Swimming. These lawsuits establish that USA Swimming covered up what it knew about reported sexual misconduct by its member coaches. The lawsuits also further allege that the swimming organization did nothing to prevent the sexual abuse of minor athletes. As the National Governing Body (NGB) for swimming, the organization is responsible for selecting and training teams for the Olympics.

During the Jane Doe case against USA Swimming, email exchanges established that USA Swimming's executive director, Chuck Wielgus, ordered a sexual abuse complaint against coach Andy King be kept "confidential." At least one other molestation complaint was submitted to Mr. Wielgus at about the same time. Despite the complaints, Wielgus declared under penalty of perjury in 2009 that he had not previously received any complaint or claim against King. He then again repeated this claim on national television in 2010.

In the Jancy Thompson sexual abuse case, documents show that USA Swimming and Pacific Swimming (a West Coast affiliate) were aware that member coach Norm Havercroft was under investigation by police for sexual molestation, which occurred in 1996. Nevertheless, the organization allowed Havercroft to continue coaching. But, when the organization was asked in 2009 whether it knew of any prior allegations involving Havercroft, it denied knowledge.

If a USA Swimming coach has victimized your child and your family, contact our attorneys at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard by calling (408) 289-1417 or using the contact form. You get aggressive legal representation starting with a free and confidential case evaluation. 

A History of Sexual Abuse Coverups in USA Swimming

Sexual abuse cover-ups within organizations like USA Swimming have long involved the suppression of allegations, failure to take appropriate disciplinary actions against abusers, and a lack of support for survivors. This has further exacerbated survivors’ trauma and undermined the nation’s trust in these governing bodies.  

USA Swimming, as the governing body for competitive swimming in the United States, has faced criticism for its handling of sexual abuse allegations. The organization has been accused of not doing enough to prevent abuse, inadequately investigating claims, and, in some cases, actively working to conceal allegations to protect coaches and other officials. This behavior not only allowed abusers to continue their misconduct, often moving unchecked within the sport but also sent a damaging message to survivors that their safety and well-being were secondary to the reputation and success of the organization and its members.

Here are a few instances where coaches affiliated with USA Swimming were found guilty of sexual abuse:

Rick Curl: A well-known swimming coach, Curl was banned for life by USA Swimming in 2012 after it was revealed that he had an inappropriate relationship with a young swimmer in the 1980s. He was eventually sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to a charge of child sexual abuse.

Andy King: King, a former swimming coach, was arrested in 2009 and later sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexually abusing young swimmers over decades. His case was particularly disturbing as it highlighted the failure of swimming organizations to address and prevent abuse adequately.

Mark Schubert: While Schubert himself was not accused of abuse, his name came up in the context of the culture of silence around abuse in swimming. As a prominent coach within USA Swimming, his actions and those of other officials in handling allegations of abuse have been scrutinized.

Our Long History of Fighting Sexual Abuse Claims Against USA Swimming

Robert Allard's work has been pivotal in challenging institutions to acknowledge and rectify the systemic issues that have allowed abuse to persist. His relentless pursuit of accountability has not only provided survivors with a voice but also instigated essential changes within USA Swimming's policies and practices. Through legal action and advocacy, Allard has been instrumental in pushing for reforms that prioritize athlete safety, enforce stricter background checks, and ensure that coaches and officials are adequately trained to recognize and report abuse. 

His unwavering commitment to survivors and dedication to public interest have set a high standard for trauma-informed legal practices and led to his national recognition. He was honored as the “Person of the Year” by a major swimming publication and named one of the “Top 10 Most Impactful People in Swimming” by Swimming World for his efforts to reform the Olympic Movement.

His proactive litigation against USA Swimming, highlighted by a significant ABC 20/20 program in 2010, has strengthened child protection programs in swimming and throughout the Olympic Movement.

Contact Our Sexual Abuse Legal Team

If you or a loved one has suffered sexual abuse or molestation from a coach, please call the law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard. We can help guide you through this difficult time. Call our San Jose office at (408) 289-1417 or contact us online to schedule your free, confidential consultation.

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