Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sent to me by Robert Allard, Esq. Lawyers Against the Sexual Abuse of Children (“LASAC")

It's been quite a weekend. I wished this all would have happened on a Monday for I wanted to start working on some swimmer related illustrations and post them onto the blog for comment. However duty calls, and my response to David Berkoff filibustered my time.

Robert Allard, Esq. representing "Lawyers Against the Sexual Abuse of Children" sent me this response after reading David Berhoff's rebuttal and my subsequent retort back to him.

His response is aggressive and mentions that two separate branches of the FBI are "...looking into accusations of sexual molestations."

 Dear Mr. Austin:

The deposition testimony of Mr. Berkoff demonstrates that he is a mere politician stating what suits him and more particularly, USA Swimming, at the time of publication.   
You see, in deposition it benefitted Mr. Berkoff (and USA Swimming) to downplay the existence of the "abuse subcommittee" which was ostensibly formed in the early 1990's by declaring that it was not a "subcommittee" at all and otherwise never formalized. This "subcommittee" was portrayed by Mr. Berkoff in deposition as nothing more than a concept that did not come to fruition. In fact, Mr. Berkoff could not even remember whose idea it was to form this “subcommittee” nor is there any indication in USA Swimming’s meeting minutes to prove that any action was taken. This testimony helped facilitate the shameless defense advanced by USA Swimming in nationwide sexual abuse claims because it tended to show that the topic of sex abuse was not at the forefront of discussion at the time; ergo no need to formally create a subcommittee. Mr. Berkoff eagerly participated in the perpetration of this fraud during multiple deposition sessions because it advanced the interests of the entity writing his paychecks. “Just some people getting together to talk about something that was interesting” is basically how Mr. Berkoff’s summarized what happened with this “subcommittee”.

Now, when you question his character, Mr. Berkoff suddenly reverses course and cites this "subcommittee" as an example of how he has championed the rights of sex abuse victims. In truth, Mr. Berkoff abandoned the Kelly Davies of the world when they needed him the most by quitting the Board in the early 1990's because the combination of (former USA Swimming Executive Director) Ray Essick and (longtime ASCA Executive Director) John Leonard proved too formidable a foe for the meek Olympic champion. Based on what I know, an untold number of swimmers were sexually abused as a direct result of this feeble act. When the going got tough, the weak left town, and that is just what our hero did.

Mr. Berkoff has shown that he is a charlatan in the mold of Chuck Wielgus, which is ironic since Mr. Berkoff, when it suited him at the time (when he was not employed by USA Swimming), accused Mr. Wielgus of being an unworthy leader of USA Swimming and guilty of, in his words, "perjury" when addressing sexual abuse issues. Indeed, Mr. Wielgus has denied under penalty of perjury on a least three occasions that USA Swimming had any knowledge of pedophile swim coaches when in truth extensive information had been acquired concerning each of them. Mr. Wielgus himself was intimately involved in two investigations into these coaches, so it is inconceivable that he did not know of the falsity of these statements when he made them. Now, since he works for him, Mr. Berkoff has once again changed his tune and sings the praises of the venerable Mr. Wielgus as being a good and worth leader.

Like seemingly all other leaders of USA Swimming, Mr. Berkoff has sold his soul for the "cause", which is the achievement of Olympic glory, and consequent monetary gain, at all costs, even the known raping of minor girls. If this is the kind of person who you want leading your sport, than you are to blame for the disgrace that is coming down the pike for this organization, including possible federal investigations and indictments (two separate FBI branches are looking into accusations of sexual molestations). If you want what is right, there is no choice but to remove Mr. Berkoff from office, along with his cronies Chuck Wielgus, Pat Hogan and Mike Unger. At this point, there is no other alternative if we are to ensure the protection of our youth from the evils of sex abuse.

Robert Allard, Esq. Lawyers Against the Sexual Abuse of Children (“LASAC") San Jose, CA


Sarah G said...

Is David Berkoff an employee or a volunteer? Was he an employee in the past?

Not that it matters; Tony's portrayal of Berkoff's deposition may be accurate. But I thought Berkoff was a volunteer, which makes his "loyalty" puzzling. I would expect Weilgus to have trouble getting the volunteers to perjure themselves. What would the incentive be? Promise of a future job? Part of the USSIC payout/bonuses? Does anyone know?

I think that to understand people's motivation, we need to understand the financials of USSIC. Follow the money. And the USSIC is hidden money, unaccountable; so that would likely be the most illuminating. Has anyone asked Berkoff if he has financial details on that?

Whoever will expose the details on that should get good guy status (assuming no sexual abuse).

Dave, are you still tuned in?

Anonymous said...

What a liar David Berkoff has turned out to be! I thought he was an outstanding person and was encouraged when he was elected to the USAS Board. David could have made a he's become one of "them" (corrupt, unaccountable and non-transparent). What happened? David should just go back and take care of his family. USAS doesn't need anymore of his kind!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Allard, why didn't Kelley's parents call the police and report Rick Curl when they found her diary in September of 1986? Why did her parents allow their daughter, who allegedly had been raped and abused by this so called 'monster' to still swim with him until August of '87? Kelley drove herself to practice everyday, she went on trips with Rick and the team without her parents, and continued, from appearances, a good swimmer/coach relationship with Rick until March of 1988. This was about the time her swimming career was tanking and she knew she couldn't make the Olympic team. Does she want to hurt him now because she still loves him and is angry that she can't have him? She has always wanted his marriage to end so that she could be the woman in his life. Did Kelley tell you that she forgave Rick for not marrying her a long time ago but still can't stop thinking about him? But who really knows what happened with Rick and Kelley? Kelley loves attention and has always been a narcissistic manipulator. She especially loves attention from Rick (she even admitted this in her NPR interview) and this is the only way she can get it from him now. She is so enjoying all this turmoil that she is the center of. Mr. Allard, you don't care about Kelley anymore than David does. There are no other so called victims of Rick Curl either which makes this circus of a case look even more ridiculous. The only people who ever knew and could do anything were Kelley and Kelley's parents, but curiously they chose not to. Was is because there wasn't really anything to report and Kelley's diary entries were delusion and obsessive just like her love for Rick? But let me tell you one thing - Kelley is enjoying this immensely because she is getting the attention she so desires. Kelley is desperately trying to hurt her true love - Rick Curl. Does this sounds sick? You bet she is. Once this is all over you will drop her like a bad rash.

Anonymous said...


You are an idiot. Mr. Berkoff is a great advocate for fixing our sport. I was at the convention in 2010 and he was the most vocal advocate of enacting the athlete protection rules of anyone there. He also is one of the nicest people I have ever met. We need more people like Mr. Berkoff.

Tony Austin said...

Ye Godz, no wonder you posted anonymously! And this sort of gossipy retort is why victims don't come forward.

lawyers in columbia mo said...

Great article. Thanks a lot. I especially liked it when you said Lawyers Against the Sexual Abuse of Children sent me this response after reading David Berhoff's rebuttal and my subsequent retort back to him. I could not agree more.

Anonymous said...

The attitude addressed in the comment to Mr. Allard is really disturbing. Really disturbing. I'm inclined to think it is from Rick Curl. The idea that the child's and parent's motives are to blame: Who but a pedophile thinks that way?

Anonymous said...

Tony: Kelley told the whole world beginning with the University of Texas men's and women's swimming team/staff. The only people she didn't tell were the police. Why? Perhaps because she and her parents had too many uncomfortable questions they didn't want to have to answer publicly? These are factual 'rumors'. NOT gossip. You were not there ever and don't know her.

Tony Austin said...

I can't wrap my head around your accusation. If the whole world knew then why did it take USA Swimming till 2012 to find the her?

If the whole world knew then why weren't all three turned in?

That is why it is hard to believe.

Anonymous said...

Tony why can't you wrap you head around this? Is it in the sand? If USA Swimming was actually looking for Kelley all they needed to do was call Eddie Reese. They were never looking for her.

And for the motives of the parents, well, if you are going to learn anything from this then you have to ask questions. Why would a parent allow their child to continue to swim for a coach who raped her? Why did they never go to the police? Those are not very difficult questions to wrap your head around if have a brain.

Kelley never came forward with the NDA to bring to USA Swimming. She is not steering this ship and you know it.

Nobody wanted to get involved because Kelley told the whole world how she took care of it - done deal as far as we all knew. Very difficult to help someone who didn't want it.

Tony Austin said...

And I can't wrap my head around how you can gaze into somebody's soul and pretend to determine what they thinking.

The "amazing anonymous" should be your moniker.

Anonymous said...

Tony: Bob Allard has no idea what can of worms he just dove into. This case doesn't compare to anything else. It is unprecedented and will be hard to prove because of the many many details and circumstances it entails. I am coming at this from a different angle because I can. USA Swimming is not a law enforcement agency and can't lock up people. Do you seriously believe that they could not find Kelley? They were never looking for her - why can't you understand that? You are trying to turn this into something it never was nor is by blaming others s if there was a conspiracy/coverup. How can something be covered up when it was well known? Your argument is very weak. All I hear is wipe out the USA Swimming Board!!!! Blah Blah Blah...

Anonymous said...

I don't know Berkoff - I read his statement in your previous post.

Is it fair to criticize a 24 year old for not doing more? I had to ask myself the same question about a 22 year old. My conclusion was that the 22 year old was just a puppet in the show.

Berkoff now is older, has a law degree, family, and resources. Sometimes this combination is necessary to help effect change.

Also, the HUGE difference between past and present is the internet. Just think about how little anyone would know about the organization and problems without todays technology.

Tony Austin said...

A very strong point. However, I counter with this: when Berkhoff became a lawyer, he could have and should have done more.