36 USA Swimming Coaches Molested Teen Athletes

Families sue coaching authority for lax oversight
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2010 4:25 PM CDT
36 USA Swimming Coaches Molested Teen Athletes
Daichi Suzuki, left, 1988 Olympic Swimming gold medallist, swims during a practice with young swimmers in Copenhagen, Tuesday Sept. 29, 2009.   (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer)

USA Swimming has been rocked by the disclosure that 36 coaches have been banned for life for molesting teen athletes over the last 10 years, according to a suit brought by victims' families. Coaches secretly videotaped, fondled, and were otherwise indecent with their charges, court papers reveal. One coach in Indiana set up a camera in a "special" shower room and secretly filmed his athletes while they bathed, ABC News reports.

In some cases, the itinerant coaching lifestyle allowed predators to stay one step ahead of authorities and victims' families. Another coach, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison last year for molesting over a dozen female teens, would switch towns after arousing suspicion. His 30 years of sexual predation highlight the ineffectiveness of background checks by USA Swimming, the sport's national governing body, which cleared him in 2008. (Read more sexual abuse stories.)

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