George Gibney Article on Front Page of Colorado Springs Gazette Now Open to All Online

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The Colorado Springs Gazette, which on February 28 published on its front page an article headlined “Podcasts stir new sex abuse allegations against former Irish Olympic swim coach in U.S.,” now has a new free link to the full text: https://gazette.com/news/podcasts-stir-new-sex-abuse-allegations-against-former-irish-olympic-swim-coach-in-u-s/article_cb36afe6-7875-11eb-91dd-67e902c483a7.html.

Below is the entire first section. Concussion Inc. shortly will publish a fuller “annotated version” amplifying portions of the article that were edited out for space or other reasons.

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IRVIN MUCHNICK Special to The Gazette

The American immigration and criminal status of a former Irish Olympic swimming head coach, who moved to the U.S. after being charged with dozens of instances of sexual assault of athletes he coached — and whose odyssey in this country began in the Denver area more than a quarter of a century ago — has gained renewed attention in the wake of a popular podcast documentary.

The 10-part podcast series, “Where Is George Gibney?”, which started streaming last summer, led to the emergence, in both Ireland and the U.S., of up to 18 former swimmers with fresh allegations that he abused them, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation, the producer in association with Second Captains, an Irish media company. The BBC said the series, produced by Mark Horgan, has garnered more than two million worldwide listens.

In 2015, 21 years after a controversial Irish Supreme Court decision quashed Gibney’s original prosecution, the country’s director of public prosecutions had reopened an investigation of him at the behest of a now-retired Irish legislator,  Maureen O’Sullivan, who campaigned for his extradition to face renewed criminal charges.

In 2018, O’Sullivan met in Washington with Congresswoman Jackie Speier, a leader monitoring the issue of sexual abuse in youth sports programs. Speier assumed the role when another California Democrat, George Miller, retired after investigating USA Swimming in his capacity as ranking member of the House Education and Workforce Committee. In 2014, Miller forwarded his findings to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Both the U.S. Department of Justice and the state prosecutor’s office in Hillsborough County, Fla., have interests in reexamining the permanent resident alien status of and sex crime allegations against Gibney, now 72 years old and living in Altamonte Springs, north of Orlando. The multitude of allegations includes one that, in 1991, he raped and impregnated a 17-year-old swimmer in Tampa during his Irish team’s training trip.

Additionally, the Gibney extradition campaign has raised questions about the knowledge of his presence here by the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Colorado Springs-based USA Swimming, especially during his brief tenure as a coach for a team in Colorado, and about whether the American Swimming Coaches Association, a professional group that specializes in troubleshooting coaches’ visas, helped arrange for Gibney’s move and first job in the U.S.

Jonathan Little, an attorney who has represented dozens of plaintiffs in abuse claims against USA Swimming and other Olympic sports bodies, called Gibney “a monster” whose misconduct may exceed in scale that of Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics doctor who molested hundreds of athlete-patients.

“George Gibney is the most prolific child molester in Olympic sports history, including Larry Nassar,” Little said. “Gibney raped children not only in Ireland but in the United States. The fact that Gibney is permitted to stay in the United States when his criminal history is so well known is baffling to me and it shows the true power of the Olympic movement. As citizens, we need to be asking: ‘Who in our government is allowing Gibney to stay here and why?’”

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