February 16, 2019

After Larry Nassar sentencing, USA swimming coach in new sex abuse row

10 February 2018, 06:06 | Devin Moran

Ariana Kukors, former UW swimmer and world-record holder, says former coach sexually assaulted her

Olympian accuses ex-swim coach in Seattle of sexually abusing her when she was 16

"At no time did I ever abuse Ariana Kukors or do anything with her that was not consensual", the statement said. When she said no, his face looked "almost mischievous as he was trying to gauge [her] response", according to Kukors. USA authorities and police executed a search warrant at his Seattle apartment this week, seizing electronic devices.

In 2010, Hutchison resigned his post at a trainer centre for several top American swimmers, after allegations arose he was engaged in an improper sexual relationship with one of his swimmers.

"A fellow coach from back East called me and said that there were rumors going around the swim meet about Sean, and I was shocked", Schubert said.

Hutchison was the head coach on the 2008 US Olympic team and head coach of the 2009 US team at the world championships.

"It's still hard to comprehend, but Sean had perfected the art of grooming; I wasn't even aware I needed saving", Kukors wrote in the blog post. "It is shocking, it is sad, it is mind boggling", said Olympic gold medalist Megan Jendrick, formerly Megan Quann, who trained with Kukors and was coached for five years by Hutchison.

Swim coach Marc Schubert speaks to CBS Los Angeles in an interview broadcast on February 8, 2018. He worked here with Hutchinson, who was rumored to be having a sexual relationship at the time with then 21-year-old Kukors. Schubert at that time coached Olympic hopefuls at FAST and said he reported the rumors to Hutchinson's bosses.

He met Ms. Kukors when he was a coach at King Aquatic Club in Seattle, according to Ms. Kukors's statement.

Hutchison's bio has been removed from the website.

The club said in a statement the news "broke our collective hearts".

Hutchinson did leave. He returned to Seattle to the swim club he owned - King Aquatics. The criticism grew from the emotionally charged sentencing hearings for Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse.

The United States Homeland Security Department is "still in the very preliminary stages" of an investigation into this case, Lori Haley, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in an email on Thursday.

"I never thought I would share my story because, in so many ways, just surviving was enough", Kukors said in a statement. But in time, I've realized that stories like my own are too important to go unwritten.

The statement by USA Swimming went on to note that Kukors' recent public allegation was the first time they learned that Hutchison may've sexually abused Ariana when she was a minor. "I absolutely deny having any sexual or romantic relationship with her before she was old enough to legally make those decisions for herself". "I deeply regret that she would make these wild allegations all these years later".

The investigation comes amid scrutiny over the supervision of people who work with young athletes.

Almost 200 women testified in televised hearings about being molested by Nassar, who was sentenced to decades in prison.

Allard, Kukors' lawyer, said USA Swimming failed to protect the swimmer.

In 2002, soon after Australian-born Matthew Pedrazzini, a council swimming coach in Birmingham, England, was jailed for 15 years for unlawful intercourse with a girl and possession of indecent photographs, British Swimming and related organisations confirmed that they were investigating 20 cases of alleged child abuse by coaches, including two of sexual abuse. Police said the suspect under investigation was the victim's swim coach during the time; however, police did not identify Hutchison as the suspect.

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