Based on new information received today, I reinforced my request for public release of records relative to a report by USA Swimming to the Baltimore County Police Department of an allegation of past abuse by a former swimmer at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, the home base of Michael Phelps. (Investigative reporter Tim Joyce broke the original story. I named the coach in question: Hall of Famer Murray Stephens.)
My new information was a time frame — October 5 to October 11, 2011 — for contacts by NBAC with the police, and by the police with the alleged victim.
Corporal Cathleen Batton of the Baltimore County police told me the following:
“In November of 2010, a letter was sent to the Baltimore County Police Department – Precinct 1/Wilkens from USA Swimming. The letter notified the agency of an alleged incident involving an anonymous victim, an anonymous suspect, an unknown time frame, and unknown location somewhere on the East Coast area. The phone number listed for the anonymous victim was not in operation at the time the letter was sent. No police report was generated due to insufficient victim information.
“In October of 2011, the Baltimore County Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit received a referral in reference to these allegations. A detective contacted the victim, and based on that contact, no police report was completed.
“There are no documents to release in reference to your request because no police reports were generated.”
As always in these cases, in my view, the fact that “no police reports were generated” does not let USA Swimming and NBAC off the hook for having apparently taken a secretive subsequent course of action: the quietest possible separation of Murray Stephens.
Where does Michael Phelps stand on all this? He is the face of American swimming, who says he is now devoting his life to the foundation for youth in his name. The safety of girl swimmers from statutory rape is, on its face, job one of such a mission. More on that soon.