With the victim impact statements from serial child molester and former Olympic Gymnastics Coach Larry Nassar’s sentencing still ringing in our collective ears, the Orange County Register reported this month that USA Swimming has ignored or covered up hundreds of cases of sexual abuse over the last few decades.
A Culture of Abuse
Specifically, the report – which is based on court documents and uncovered internal communications – makes several claims, including:
- Top USA Swimming officials and coaches “were aware of sexually predatory coaches for years, in some cases even decades, but did not take action against them.”
- Since 1997, USA Swimming has identified nearly 600 victims of sexual abuse. Additionally, more than 250 coaches and officials have been arrested, charged or disciplined by USA Swimming for sexual assault or sexual misconduct against under-age athletes.
- “USA Swimming board members and coaches acknowledged they were aware of statutory rape cases that occurred during U.S. national team trips to major international competitions.”
- USA Swimming “flagged” at least 30 coaches or officials for arrests over sexual abuse or child pornography, but were allowed to keep working.
- Between 2006 and 2016, USA Swimming shelled out nearly $7.5 million on legal fees.
- Finally, the report reveals that USA Swimming spent more than $77,000 on lobbyists fighting against legislation that would have made it easier for sexual abuse and assault victims to pursue justice in civil court.
Reports such as these of sexual assault and abuse in this nation’s top athletics programs are horrifying. When you or a loved one decide to participate in athletics, be it in a recreational league or in a NCAA Division I program, you expect those placed in positions of power have been properly trained and vetted.
Moreover, you expect that reports of misconduct by a coach, trainer, referee, or administrator will be acted upon swiftly and not swept under the rug. When those expectations are shattered, the resulting pain can last a lifetime. If you have experienced sexual abuse in sports, an experienced sexual abuse attorney in Ohio can help.
The Cincinnati lawyers at Burg Simpson Ohio have experience with competitive sports, from the club and recreational level to NCAA programs, and are willing and able to help. If you or a loved one has endured sexual harassment or sexual assault, contact a sexual assault lawyer at Burg Simpson Ohio by calling 513-852-5600 or complete our Free Case Evaluation Form today.