Friday, November 11, 2011

Sexual Abuse lawsuit filed against USA Swimming alleging no action taken after a child abuse claim was made.

This one is from ESPN: I personally don't think the article was written very well; (I should talk, right?), but it does seem balanced towards each side.

There was a coach in Indiana; (why does Indiana keep coming up in these lawsuits?), and his name was Christopher Wheat who coached for the Lawrence Swim Club there. He eventually pleaded guilty last year to two counts of felony sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of felony child solicitation.

Apparently it is being alleged that USA Swimming officials didn't take action after complaints of inappropriate sexual behavior by Christopher Wheat took place. USA Swimming denies it but if there is another "This matter should be kept confidential by both you and us Chuck Wielgus email" out there stating much the same thing then the organization must take responsibility for it.

From ESPN:

"... USA Swimming, in a statement released Thursday night, said it has not received a lawsuit but denied the claims made by Little. [The child's attorney]

"To the extent that the attorney has claimed that USA Swimming has a culture of protecting pedophiles, that is categorically untrue," the statement said. "There is nothing more important to USA Swimming than the safety and well-being of its 300,000 members. For that reason, the organization has developed one of the most comprehensive athlete protection programs among Olympic Sports."

According to the lawsuit, the girl's mother called Tony Young, the sports development director for Indiana Swimming, in 2008 to complain of abusive training methods and sexually inappropriate behavior by Wheat with a separate female swimmer. Young allegedly ignored the complaints instead of reporting the incident as required by Indiana law.

"In addition, the attorney's allegation that USA Swimming had been warned of sexual abuse by Chris Wheat is also untrue," the statement said. "The first instance that USA Swimming learned about abuse by Chris Wheat was when we were notified of his arrest in October 2009." ..."


More details and a "mugshot" at the IndyStar : [Link]

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