USA Swimming just took a dive into a pool of controversy after it was revealed one of their coaches sent sexually inappropriate texts to a 13-yr-old girl and the only consequence was a warning.
USA Swimming is now included as a defendant in an updated filing of the civil lawsuit against a Stockton, CA swim club over alleged sexual abuse of a 13-year-old.
The case revolves around an unnamed plaintiff, a 13-year-old girl who says she was sexually abused by her swim coach, Shunichi Fujishima. The lawsuit, filed in April, lays out a number of allegations of grooming against the coach. The lawsuit is officially filed against Pacific Swimming (the LSC governing the club where the abuse allegedly happened), Stockton Swim Club, Fujishima and now USA Swimming.
In a press release today, the girl’s attorney, Bob Allard, says that new evidence shows that USA Swimming knew about abuse allegations involving another coach with that club, but covered them up and only gave the coach a warning.
The interesting piece of this suit is that Allard’s release specifically targets CEO Tim Hinchey, saying Hinchey was one of the high-ranking USA Swimming officials who knew about the allegations. While USA Swimming has faced a slew of criticism over its handling of coaching abuse allegations, most have centered around Hinchey’s predecessor, Chuck Wielgus.
This isn't the first time USA Swimming has faced a controversy of this magnitude. Here's a news report from last year.