Abuse and Sexual Assault
USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport, plays a pivotal role in shaping the experiences of swimmers at all levels. However, in recent years, the organization has come under scrutiny for its handling of sexual abuse cases within the swimming community.
Numerous lawsuits have emerged from young swimmers and their families across the United States, pointing to a disturbing pattern of negligence and misconduct within USA Swimming. These legal actions allege that USA Swimming has consistently downplayed the prevalence of sexual abuse within the sport. Accusations include failing to conduct thorough background checks on coaches and staff, inadequately responding to abuse allegations, and, in some cases, attempting to silence survivors to protect the organization's reputation.
At Cerri, Boskovich & Allard, our sexual abuse lawyers have been actively involved in these challenging and necessary legal battles. We are deeply committed to supporting survivors of sexual abuse in swimming, helping them to raise their voices and seek the justice they rightly deserve.Why Choose Our Sexual Abuse Law Firm?
At Cerri, Boskovich & Allard, we hold sexual predators and USA Swimming accountable for the damage inflicted upon our clients and the broader swimming community. Attorney Robert Allard has been a pivotal figure in advocating for survivors of sexual abuse in the Olympic Movement for over a decade. His work extends beyond winning cases for clients; he actively contributes to changing laws and case law to support survivors.
Mr. Allard's impact is nationally acknowledged, evidenced by his recognition as "Person of the Year" by a major swimming publication and his ranking among the "Top 10 Most Impactful People in Swimming" by Swimming World. His approach is trauma-informed, prioritizing the public interest and setting a high standard in the legal field, particularly for those abused in sports or universities.
The litigation against USA Swimming in 2010, followed by significant media coverage, led to enhanced child protection measures across the Olympic Movement, including expanded background checks, mandated training on predator identification, and clear reporting mechanisms for complaints.
In 2018, Mr. Allard was key in passing a law requiring coaches across the Olympic Movement to be mandated reporters. He has been involved in several high-profile cases in California, advocating for survivors and pushing for cultural change within USA Swimming. His open letter to USA Swimming in recent years calls for the expulsion of individuals contributing to a culture of abuse, highlighting the need for significant institutional reform.Holding USA Swimming Accountable
Since 1997, at least 252 swim coaches and officials have been arrested, charged by prosecutors, or disciplined by USA Swimming for sexual abuse or misconduct against minors.
USA Swimming holds a significant responsibility for the safety and well-being of its athletes. This responsibility extends to creating and maintaining an environment that is free from sexual abuse and misconduct. In cases where sexual abuse has occurred within its ranks, USA Swimming can - and should - face accountability.
USA Swimming has a duty of care to its athletes, especially minors, to protect them from harm. This includes implementing effective policies and procedures to prevent sexual abuse. Any lapses or inadequacies in USA Swimming’s policies and procedures that fail to protect athletes from sexual abuse can be seen as a breach of their duty of care.
Unfortunately, even when allegations of sexual abuse have been brought to USA Swimming, they’ve failed to take action or investigate these claims. Numerous swimmers have mentioned a culture of silence that allowed these sexual abuses to continue. In 2020, six women filed a lawsuit against USA Swimming, alleging that the organization knew of the sexual abuse they endured from coaches while they were teenagers and failed to prevent further access of these coaches to children.Contact Our Sexual Abuse Lawyers
You have the power to make a difference. If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse in sports, particularly within USA Swimming, it's time to step forward. Your voice can bring about change and help protect future generations of athletes.
At Cerri, Boskovich & Allard, we recognize how difficult it is to file a lawsuit against your abuser and the organization that allowed this abuse to continue. That’s why we offer compassionate legal guidance in a safe and private space. We want to hear your story and help you explore your legal options. If you're ready to share your story, seek justice, or just need someone to talk to, please reach out. Your journey toward healing and change starts here.