Turns Out That Sarah Ehekircher Squared Off Against Not One But Two ‘Non-Practicing Lawyers’ — Her U.S. Center for SafeSport ‘Investigator’ As Well As the ‘Director of Legal Affairs’

Published June 3rd, 2018, Uncategorized

by Irvin Muchnick

 

We’ve been telling the story of the multi-layered U.S. Center for SafeSport complaint of Sarah Ehekircher, grooming-abuse victim of USA Swimming coach Scott MacFarland, and of the center’s con game in luring Ehekircher to a meeting at a Denver law office on May 24.

Michael Henry, the SafeSport director of legal affairs, attended the meeting, following less than clear disclosures and preparation, which seemed designed to protect the center’s interests more than the complainant’s. Henry and senior investigator Kathleen Smith tape-recorded the session, during which Ehekircher did not have legal representation.

The center’s actions in this episode went dimensions beyond a fleeting bad look. They were a disgrace — compelling evidence that the U.S. Olympic Committee’s new-and-improved sexual abuse policing regime is a Groundhog Day marketing sham.

On Friday another SafeSport complainant, whom I’ve known for years (and whose account I proceeded to buttress in a long phone conversation), emailed: “Kathleen Smith is also a lawyer who for the past 10 months (on numerous occasions) has assured us that she is not a ‘practicing attorney’.”

Smith is Ehekircher’s investigator, too. The information that Smith is a lawyer was news to Ehekircher.

I invited the comments of Smith and of center media spokesperson Dan Hill. The latter called me late Friday.

Hill confirmed that Smith is a lawyer. Hill explained that many of the people who go into the field of sexual abuse investigation or support have law school backgrounds without officially or primarily practicing as lawyers.

Hill also did not dispute something else Ehekircher has been telling me: that she sent a succession of emails to investigator Smith, following up on points in the May 24 meeting, and Smith has not once replied. This combines with other factors to raise the question of whether Ehekircher  is being “ghosted” at this point.

 

THE FULL SERIES

Sarah Ehekircher, Long-Time Coach, Tells of Her Youth Grooming and Abuse by Scott MacFarland, Her ‘Revictimization’ by USA Swimming’s 2010 Investigation, and Her Sexual Harassment by American Swimming Coaches Association Boss John Leonard

Published March 6th, 2018

Houston Chronicle to Cover U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Reopening of USA Swimming’s Investigation of Sarah Ehekircher’s Grooming-Abuse Allegations Against Coach James Scott MacFarland

Published March 25th, 2018

Sarah Ehekircher, Who Just Got Scott MacFarland Booted From Swimming 30+ Years After He Groomed and Abused Her, Is Talking With Congressional Investigators About the Bigger Picture

Published May 13th, 2018