Former USA Swimming team coach Sean Hutchison is under investigation by Homeland Security task force officials and Washington state authorities for allegedly taking nude photographs of one of his pupils when she was a teen, according to a Seattle Post-Intelligencer report.
Ariana Kukors, who was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team, has also accused the 46-year-old Hutchison of years-long sexual abuse, starting when she was 13, according to a press release from Kukors’ attorneys.
“I never thought I would share my story because, in so many ways, just surviving was enough. I was able to leave a horrible monster and build a life I could have never imagined for myself. But in time, I’ve realized that stories like my own are too important to go unwritten,” Kukors, now 28, said in a statement. “Not for the sake of you knowing my story, but for the little girls and boys whose lives and future hangs in the grasp of a horribly powerful and manipulative person. That they may not have to go through the same pain, trauma, horror, and abuse. That their parents, mentors, and guardians are better able to spot the signs of grooming and realize it’s tragic consequences before it’s too late.”
The Seattle PI report said Homeland Security Department officials searched Hutchison’s apartment Tuesday. No criminal charges have been filed against Hutchison yet, according to the report.
USA Gymnastics and the gymnastics community is still reeling from the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor, has pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of child pornography and, in separate Michigan state cases, he pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual contact and sexual assault. Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison in the federal case, and 40-175 and 40-125 years in the Michigan cases.
The U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics have come under fire for what officials in either entity may have known about Nassar before his abuse came to light.
Kukors claims Hutchison started grooming her at age 13 when she was coached by him at King Aquatic Club, near Seattle, WA. Her attorney, Bob Allard, pointed some of the blame toward the USOC and USA Swimming.
“Much like the USOC knew about Larry Nassar years before his arrest and did nothing, USA Swimming had notice in 2010 that Sean Hutchison was involved in an inappropriate coach- athlete relationship with Ariana and took no actions to protect her or other swimmers,” Allard said in statement. “If this organization had immediately reported what it knew to authorities, Hutchison likely would have been stopped, Ariana would have been spared years of abuse, and countless other young girls would have been protected from this sexual predator.”
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