Public Documents on North Baltimore Aquatic Club Sex Abuse Allegations Dangle in the Unhelpful Ozone

Published November 5th, 2012, Uncategorized

Before the Sandy storm devastation, before the death of 14-year-old North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimmer Louis Lowenthal, I was discussing my public records dispute with the Baltimore County Police Department over 2010-11 reports of an old sexual molestation complaint by a former swimmer against an NBAC coach.

This blog alone has revealed that the coach was founder Murray Stephens, who had already sold the club to Michael Phelps and his coach, Bob Bowman. With the utmost minimum of fuss and muss, Stephens got banished from the Meadowbrook swim complex around the same time he was being loudly inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. (And just think, they’re still keeping Pete Rose out of the Baseball Hall of Fame!)

As we await the autopsy findings on young Lowenthal, here’s an update on the search for documentation of NBAC sex abuse.

Baltimore County police have corrected some misstatements in their original response to me. Officer Shawn Vinson of the legal section clarified that the Crime Against Children Unit is a unit of detectives working in conjunction with the county Department of Social Services (not Juvenile Services). Nonetheless, Vinson ruled that the 2011 referral document which I was seeking is still exempt from the disclosure provisions of the Maryland Public Information Act.

I do not think it would be productive to litigate that point. Instead, I point out again that the police have not produced the asserted 2010 letter from USA Swimming to Precinct 1/Wilkens, which would be the first outline of the molestation complaint before it was forwarded to Social Services. Baltimore County is not claiming a public disclosure exemption there — but merely contending that it cannot be located due to “the passage of time.”

As we all know, time is on the side of the abusers and all who cover up on their behalf, by commission or by omission.

Irv Muchnick