After Larry Nassar sentencing, U.S. swimming coach in new sex abuse row
- Author: Angelo Rivera Feb 11, 2018,
Feb 11, 2018, 3:48
According to Ms. Kukors's statement, she realized that she had been abused only "through recent therapy and after years of suppressing memories of the pain and suffering", and that she was coming forward with her story on the recommendation of victims' advocates.
USA Swimming told the New York Times that it conducted its own investigation in 2010 after learning of rumors of a relationship between Kukors and Hutchison, but closed the case after both parties "unequivocally denied the existence of a romantic or sexual relationship". When she was 15, Kukors said things escalated when Hutchinson asked her if she was wearing underwear one day after practice. As of the time of publication, he has not been charged with a crime.
According to Levi Pulkkinen of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a Homeland Security Department task force searched Hutchison's home Tuesday in search of digital evidence that he sexually exploited swimming students.
"We are still in the very preliminary stages of this investigation, but obviously a top priority in all cases involving alleged online child exploitation is identifying any possible minor victims", Homeland Security spokeswoman Lori Haley said. He worked there with Hutchison. "And I was shocked", said Schubert. "So I told his boss".
Olympic medalist Margaret Hoelzer says she heard that coach Sean Hutchison was dating swimmer Ariana Kukors when Kukors was 21.
"All they could come up with was Ariana and Sean's cars parked together at 5 a.m in the morning in front of Sean's condo", Schubert says.
Man, oh man. Reportedly, Hutchison stepped down from his role with the U.S. Olympic team in 2010 amid rumors he was having relations with a swimmer. But I think they knew. However, American media report today that until Wednesday, Hutchison's photo was to be found on the coaches page of the club website.
In a statement on Thursday, Michael Brooks, the head coach at the club, said that news of the allegations "broke our collective hearts".
KING Aquatic Club, where Hutchison is an "executive" who has little contact with swimmers, is reviewing the claims of sexual abuse. Former team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to more in three separate cases, with one case bringing up to 175 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to abusing women and girls in his care during medical treatments. The organization revealed in 2010 that sex abuse allegations were mostly to blame for lifetime bans of 46 members and then said it set up training and enhanced screening for all coaches, officials and volunteers.
Ariana, who was once a member of the 2012 Olympic team and was the 2009 World champion in the 200-meter individual medley, told police Hutchison started the abuse when she was 16 and continued the inappropriate behavior until she was 24.
"He said he loved me, and I thought he held the keys to my future - not just to my swimming career, but to my whole life", she wrote. "But in time, I've realised that stories like my own are too important to go unwritten".
Hutchison, who was an assistant coach on the 2008 US Olympic team, didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment Wednesday. "I absolutely deny having any sexual or romantic relationship wit her before she was old enough to legally make those decisions for herself", the statement said. "It's still hard to comprehend, but Sean had perfected the art of grooming; I wasn't even aware I needed saving", she wrote.
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. Kukors' lawyer, Robert Allard said computers and phones were seized for examination.