by Irvin Muchnick
The U.S. Center for SafeSport operative, Michael Henry, who deceived USA Swimming abuse victim Sarah Ehekircher as he sat in on a meeting with her investigator two months ago, has undergone a rebranding, according to his listing at the professional networking site LinkedIn.
Previously, Henry had called himself the SafeSport “director of legal affairs” on his LinkedIn page. Now he is “director, investigations and outcomes.”
The center’s own website appears to have no staff information except for that of Shellie Pfohl, the chief executive officer.
SafeSport’s media spokesperson, Dan Hill, did not respond to ConcussionInc.’s query about when Henry’s designation was changed or what brought about the change.
The conning of Ehekircher certainly qualifies as an “outcome,” albeit a dubious one for an agency expressly set up for the purpose of cleaning up the U.S. Olympic Committee sports bodies’ appalling record of covering up abuse allegations and re-victimizing victims.
As we contemporaneously reported, Henry was added at the last minute to the May 24 meeting between Ehekircher and SafeSport senior investigator Kathleen Smith, who told the complainant that he would be there as “another member of the Response and Resolution team[.]… We try to have a second person whenever possible to help with note-taking and any miscellaneous things that may need to be done.”
Ehekircher was not told that this humble scrivener was, in fact, the SafeSport director of legal affairs. Nor was she informed that she would proceed to be grilled in a tape-recorded interview without her own lawyer present.
Back then, spokesperson Hill told us that he couldn’t comment on the center’s explanation for how these deceits fit into a vision of “best practices” for handling sexual abuse allegations. Along the way, Hill inserted a dig about how these practices did not include “responding to misrepresentations.” Our subsequent publication of the texts of investigator Smith’s emails to Ehekircher established that our reporting was completely accurate.
Perhaps the no-comment on Michael Henry’s title change is similarly justified as an example of the mysterious — but most assuredly benign! — ways of the U.S. Center for SafeSport and the blind faith that youth athletes, their families, and the U.S. Congress are expected to have in it.
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