Abuse of Girl Swimmers by Their Coaches Is Not Job-Site Sexual Harassment, Requiring ‘Sensitivity Training.’ It Is Rape, Requiring Criminal Prosecution.

Sex Abuse Revolving Door: Rick Curl Case Shows College Programs Share Responsibility for USA Swimming Cover-Ups
August 8, 2012
Enablers From the Top: The People Accountable for the USA Swimming Sex Abuse Scandal
August 9, 2012

Readers will recall that I got involved with the USA Swimming coach sex abuse scandal through an incident on my own daughter’s team – the statutory rape of one of his swimmers by a coach named Jesse Stovall. See:

In a remarkable email to me in the course of my initial inquiries in 2009, Joe Woo, then the general chair of our regional governing board, Pacific Swimming, wrote, “In light of the recent events involving not one but two coaches being arrested within our LSC [Local Swim Committee], I believe there ought to be some sensitivity training provided to the coaches.”

I responded in part, “The criminal and moral allegations against Jesse Stovall have nothing to do with ‘sensitivity training’; he was not the victim swimmer’s employer or co-worker, and this was not sexual harassment. It was statutory rape. The power imbalance between a coach and a youth swimmer, which makes what Stovall did heinous, flows from (1) the age gap and (2) his position as a teacher.”


Irv Muchnick

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick