I use to think that USA Swimming was "cagey" in regards to the way they addressed the sex abuse cases and the TYR anti-trust lawsuit.... Well, this email completely erased those opinions. I now realize they just going down the same road as the Catholic church did; simply following legal counsel and hoping it will all go away.
Well, we are all "Catholics" now.
If a victim writes the CEO of a company and says "I was sexually harassed or sexually assaulted", not only is that a formal complaint, that is a "shot across your bow," and you better do something even if the victim requests that you don't.
Once you know a crime or a potential crime may be taking place, you're now responsible since this is your "ship" under attack.
Only thing I can assume is that the CEO of USA Swimming must of thought that since the swimmer stated she did not want to file a "formal complaint", in some way this was a "get out of jail free" card or "this is not a formal complaint" card so USA Swimming can sit on their hands and keep their "pie-holes" shut.
The San Jose Mercury news has just released private emails between a victim in the Andrew King sex abuse crimes she exchanged with Chuck Wielgus, the head of USA Swimming.
From the San Jose Mercury News:
"... In her lengthy, Jan. 20, 2003, e-mail to Pacific Swimming's Benton, Kelly described her experience swimming for King at Chabot 10 years earlier. She said she "was shaking as I type," and called King "a terribly abusive coach" who had made female swimmers kiss the males in front of the team before practice. If they didn't, the whole team had to swim extra laps. "Andy timed it with a stop watch, because the rule was I had to kiss this person for 30 seconds," she wrote.
King also subjected swimmers to
lengthy diatribes, filled with comments like "stupid bitch" and "you are an idiot" if they did not swim as well as he wanted, she wrote in her e-mail.
In the same e-mail, she said "over 10 years later, I feel I need to say what I wish I said then. I can't change what happened but maybe something can be done to stop this from continuing." She wrote that she was "writing not to lodge a formal complaint, because perhaps too much time has gone by...."
"... In a Jan. 27, 2003, e-mail, Wielgus wrote that he had talked to the group's attorney and "here is our counsel:
"1. No formal complaint is being filed, so there is no formal action for you or us to take.
"2. You should monitor the situation and alert us if any new information comes forward.
"3. USA Swimming will open a file on this matter and while we will take no action at this time, we will remain alert for any new information.
"4. This matter should be kept confidential by both you and us.
"5. When and if any new information comes forward, we will assess the situation at that time and determine if any action is required."
Why should it be kept quiet? Seemed like that coach needed a bit of scrutiny and now I believe that USA Swimming does too!