The Latest: Olympic swimmer pens essay describing abuse
SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on allegations that a U.S. champion swimmer was sexually abused by a coach (all times local):
An Olympic swimmer who accused her coach of sexually abusing her as a minor says he controlled and manipulated her from a young age.
In a first-person essay posted Friday, Ariana Kukors described “an extensive, abusive and incredibly manipulative relationship” with Sean Hutchison that lasted about a decade.
Hutchison has denied allegations of misconduct or that he groomed her for abuse. The former Olympic assistant head coach hasn’t been charged with a crime, but authorities searched his Seattle apartment this week.
In her essay, which a representative confirmed, Kukors says that when she reached “the pinnacle of her sport” by qualifying for the 2012 Olympic team, she was petrified of how he would react.
She wrote that when the swimming events ended, Hutchison made sure she returned home because she “had been selfish enough.”
Another national sports governing body is facing scrutiny over how it dealt with sexual misconduct allegations after a U.S. champion swimmer said a team coach sexually abused her when she was 16.
Ariana Kukors, now 28, also told authorities that coach Sean Hutchison took thousands of sexually explicit photographs of her. Hutchison denies abusing Kukors and has not been charged with a crime. U.S. authorities and police executed a search warrant at his Seattle apartment this week, seizing electronic devices.
Hutchison faced an investigation by USA Swimming in 2010 over his ties to Kukors but it was closed with no misconduct found. USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport, said Thursday that it learned of the underage abuse allegations this week.
The investigation of Hutchison comes amid scrutiny over the supervision of people who work with young athletes. Former sports doctor for USA Gymnastics, Larry Nassar, was sentenced recently to decades in prison for sexual abusing young girls in his care.