Swim Coach to Girl, 13: 'I Have a Friend Who Wants to Get Laid'

USA Swimming named in civil suit over its issued warning
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2019 8:30 AM CDT
Swim Coach to Girl, 13: 'I Have a Friend Who Wants to Get Laid'
USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey attends a news conference at the US national championships swimming meet on July 25, 2018, in Irvine, Calif.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey was informed that a swim coach had sent sexual messages to a 13-year-old girl he was coaching, though the coach was never suspended and continued to work with young kids. "Well I have a friend who wants to get laid also. You come thru for me. I can come thru for you," then 19-year-old Marco Villanueva wrote to the girl via Snapchat in December 2014, per the Orange County Register. "Now basically I have your (vagina) ha ha ha ... I need a cuddle partner!!" Villanueva, of California's Stockton Swim Club, acknowledged this and other "concerning and very inappropriate" behavior, per USA Swimming's director of SafeSport at the time, Susan Woessner, in a 2017 exchange with Woessner. Woessner's response was to issue a written warning—details of which were also sent to Hinchey, the Register reports.

"Our commitment to preventing child sexual abuse and providing a safe and healthy environment for our athletes is constant and long-lasting," Hinchey told a House subcommittee in May 2018. But "if USA Swimming, Pacific Swimming and Mr. Hinchey had acted to stop this culture of abuse at Stockton Swim Club, my client would never have been sexually abused," says San Jose lawyer Bob Allard. SwimSwam reports he's added USA Swimming as a defendant on a civil lawsuit against the Stockton club and coach Shunichi Fujishima, who's accused of abusing his client beginning around the time of the Villanueva complaint, when she was just 12 years old. Arrested in January, 22-year-old Fujishima faces charges including sexual penetration with force with a child under 14, oral copulation, and lewd and lascivious acts with a child, per the Stockton Record. (More on abuse within the organization here.)

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