Arrests this week of coaches in Tennessee and Pennsylvania highlight the continuing culture of denial and cover-up of sex abuse at USA Swimming, the national Olympics movement’s Congressionally sanctioned supervisor of competitive youth swimming.
In the first case, Nashville’s Tennessean reports that Christopher Johnson, a student teacher at Oakland Middle School in Murfreesboro, was arrested for soliciting sex with a 12-year-old student. See http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120515/NEWS01/305150042/Murfreesboro-student-teacher-accused-sexual-solicitation-girl?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE.
Chris Johnson swam at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Tennessee in the early 2000s before becoming a USA Swimming club head coach for two different Murfreesboro-based teams, both of which since disbanded: River Oak Swim Club and Murfreesboro Aquatic Club. The former club used the pool at Oakland High School, Johnson’s alma mater.
Yesterday I sent this information to USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus, as well as to Susan Woessner, director of safe sport, her assistant Liz Hoendervoogt, and David Berkoff, the Hall of Fame swimmer who joined the organization’s board of directors two years ago after leveling allegations that it had harbored pedophiles over a period of decades. I received no response.
In the second case, NBC10 Philadelphia reports that Kenneth Fuller, the swimming coach at Bayard Rustin High School in Chester County, outside Philadelphia, was arrested yesterday and charged with institutional sexual assault, corruption of a minor, and other counts related to allegations that he had sex with an underaged student. See http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Swimming-Coach-has-Sex-with-HS-Student-Cops-151797715.html.
Fuller is confirmed to have coached for the last nine years for the USA Swimming club Malvern Swimming in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
I am forwarding this post to USA Swimming officials and requesting comment on both Johnson and Fuller.
Later today this blog will post one of the secret lists USA Swimming maintains of coaches and other swimming figures – some of whom are affiliated with USA Swimming – who are not on the organization’s published list of banned coaches.
The U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials will be held in Omaha, June 25 through July 2. Are we about to let another Olympic cycle pass without cleaning up the climate of molestation in this youth sport?
PENN STATE IN THE POOL: The Cover-Up of the USA Swimming Youth Coach Sex Abuse Scandal, which is available on Amazon Kindle at http://amzn.to/JoS53m, or as a plain PDF file by sending $1.49 via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org.