USA Swimming Facing Sex Abuse Lawsuits

(ATR) Six former athletes say USA Swimming did nothing to prevent sexual abuse by coaches.

(ATR) Six women have filed lawsuits against USA Swimming for sexual abuse by coaches in the 1980s.

The women say the national governing body for the sport failed to pursue action against the coaches.

California attorney Robert Allard filed the lawsuits under a new California law creating a three-year window for victims' claims that have expired under the statute of limitations.

"USA Swimming must clean house and get rid of the coaches and executives that created this culture that condones sexual abuse by coaches and that still exists today," said plaintiff Suzette Moran during a press conference.

In the lawsuits, the women allege USA Swimming was aware of the coaches’ actions but permitted them to continue coaching minors.

Andrew King, a youth coach; Mitchell Ivey, two-time Olympic medalist; and Everett Uchiyama, a former national team director have been named in the lawsuit.

"My sexual abuse was 100 percent preventable," said Debra Grodensky. "I believe my life trajectory would have been drastically different if USA Swimming did not have a culture that enabled coaching sexual abuse. It was that culture that allowed Andy King to abuse me for years without consequence."

All coaches named in suit were banned from coaching by USA Swimming. While neither Ivey nor Uchiyama have been formally prosecuted, King is currently serving a prison sentence for multiple child molestation charges.

Tracy Palmero said she was just 14 when sexually abused by Uchiyama .

"I would like to see an investigation into my specific situation, in terms of who else knew and did nothing and have them receive some consequences for that. But for me, most of this is to change the climate for the current athletes." said Palmero.

USA Swimming along with USA Gymnastics, and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee are under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and IRS after numerous claims of sexual abuse by former athletes.

Reported by Greer Wilson

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