The Latest: Olympian says USA Swimming should be accountable
SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on lawsuit against USA Swimming (all times local):
Olympian swimmer Ariana Kukors Smith says USA Swimming and others who should have protected her from sex abuse as a minor should be held accountable.
Kukors Smith tells The Associated Press that the sport’s national governing body knowingly did not protect her, kept her in harm’s way and allowed her to stay in an abusive relationship for more than a decade.
In an interview in her Seattle hotel room Monday, the 28-year-old says it has been an emotional several months since she publicly accused her former swim coach, Sean Hutchison, of sexually abusing her from when she was a minor.
Hutchison has denied the allegations. His attorney declined comment on the lawsuit Monday.
Kukors Smith says she and her husband hope to have kids one day and they want to make sure the sport is safe for athletes.
USA Swimming said in a statement that it respects her bravery in stepping forward and that it has been in contact with the swimmer’s legal team. The organization declined further comment, citing the litigation.
Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors Smith has sued USA Swimming, alleging the sport’s national governing body knew her former coach sexually abused her as a minor and covered it up.
Kukors Smith filed the lawsuit Monday in Superior Court in Orange County, California. She accuses Sean Hutchison of grooming her for sexual abuse when she was 13, starting to touch and kiss her when she was 16 and engaging in sexual activity when she was 17.
He began coaching her at a swim club near Seattle.
Kukors Smith also is suing longtime Olympic coach Mark Schubert, saying he failed to report “a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or endangerment.”
Hutchison has denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime.