Six Women Go Public Alleging USA Swimming Failed to Act on Allegations of Sex Abuse
While the news media and the public more generally have focused on the coronavirus pandemic and protests across the nation arising from allegations of police misconduct, six women came forward and disclosed they were victims of sexual abuse in the 1980s. Specifically, these women were underage minors participating in USA Swimming over 30 years ago when they were sexually abused by coaches in the program.
The women maintain that the USA Swimming organization failed to properly protect them from sexually abusive coaches. The women also contend that the organization failed to take action against the coaches. The women are unified in stating coaches they’ve identified groomed and then sexually assaulted them as children.
The women all maintain that the USA swimming organization leadership knew that high-profile coaches were sexually abusing them when they were girls. They further contend that even with this knowledge, the organization’s leadership did nothing to stop the sexual abuse of these minor girls and allowed the men to continue to coach. In addition, the women note that if for some reason the USA Swimming leadership lacked actual knowledge of the abuse, they should have known of this illicit conduct.
At a virtual news conference held by these six women, a victim named Debra Grodensky unequivocally stated that her “sexual abuse was 100 percent preventable. I believe my life trajectory would have been drastically different if USA Swimming did not have a culture that enabled coaches to sexually abuse their athletes.”
Another victim of the USA Swimming coaches, Suzette Moran, made clear her position in regard to the coaches and sexual abuse. “From the age of 10, when I first started swimming for a USA Swimming club, I was exposed to a world where swim coaches were looking at their underage swimmers as their next conquest,” Moran said.
Before these six women made their cases public, a trio of perpetrators received lifetime bans from coaching or working with swimmers of any age. As mentioned, the coaches involved in the alleged sexual molestation of minor girls at USA Swimming were high-profile individuals in the realm of swimming. These men are Mitchell Ivey, a two-time Olympian; Andrew King, a prominent youth coach; and Everett Uchiyama, a former national team director.
Neither Ivey nor Uchiyama were criminally prosecuted by any of their victims. King was criminally prosecuted on charges of sexually abusing children. King is serving a prison sentence having pleaded guilty to 20 charges of child molestation. He received a sentence of 40 years in prison.
Your Rights as an Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse
The laws pertaining to the legal rights afforded to an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse have been in a what accurately can be called a state of evolution in recent years. With that noted, laws relating to the legal rights of a survivor of childhood sexual abuse differ from one state to another.
A primary area in which laws across the country pertaining to the legal rights of an adult who was sexually victimized as a child have changed is in regard to what legally is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law that establishes a specific deadline by which a lawsuit seeking compensation for injuries, damages, and losses arising from childhood sexual abuse must be filed. As a general rule, the failure to file a lawsuit within this time period prevents a person from pursuing a lawsuit for injuries associated with sexual assault.
States across the country have expanded the length of time a person can file a lawsuit based on sexual assault that occurred while the survivor was a minor child. In addition, there can be exceptions to the imposition of the deadline for taking legal action set forth in the statute of limitations.
An experienced, tenacious sexual abuse injury lawyer from The Doan Law Firm can help a survivor of childhood sexual abuse assert legal rights and fight for justice. An appointment with a sexual abuse lawyer from our firm can be scheduled by calling (800) 349-0000. A national law practice, we can schedule an appointment at any one of our offices. In addition, we can arrange a virtual appointment online.
There is never a charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm sexual abuse injury lawyer. Indeed, we never charge attorney fees in a case unless we win for you.