Ariana sues USA Swimming for alleged sexual abuse coverup

Ariana Kukors Smith, a former world champion swimmer and 2012 Olympian, sued the USOC Monday, alleging it “enabled” her former swim coach to abuse her for a decade.
 
According to the AP, the lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Orange County, Calif., alleges that Kukors Smith’s former coach at a Seattle-area club, Sean Hutchinson, “groomed” her for sexual abuse when she was 13. The suit claims he began touching and kissing her by age 16 and the two were allegedly having sex when she was 17.
 
Hutchison has denied the allegations, according to the AP, and has not been charged with a crime.
 
Kukor Smith’s lawsuit claims USA Swimming executives knew of allegations in 2005 of Hutchison having inappropriate relationships with underage swimmers, including Kukors Smith, who was 16 at the time.
 
The report notes that USA Swimming retained a private investigator to look into rumors of a relationship between Kukors Smith and Hutchinson in 2010, but dropped the investigation when it uncovered no evidence of misconduct.
 
Kukors Smith also sued longtime Olympic coach Mark Schubert, alleging he failed to report “a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or endangerment.”
 
Kukors Smith won the 2009 world championship in the 200-meter individual medley and placed fifth in that event at the 2012 Games in London.
 
Observers expect more lawsuits of this nature to emerge. Earlier this year, the Orange County Register published a lengthy report alleging that hundreds of young victims were sexually abused over a period of two decades, and USA Swimming officials failed to act against “sexually predatory coaches.”
 
Current USA Swimming President and CEO Tim Hinchey responded in a letter to clubs and members that the sanctioning body is “doing everything we can to make sure” such abuse never happens again.

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