Earlier today the Baltimore County Police Department told me that “there are no documents to release” on the information that a former North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimmer had complained of being molested by a coach, “because no police reports were generated.”
I demurred, noting that the freedom of information statute in Maryland covers “documentary material in any form created or received by an agency in connection with the transaction of public business.” On that basis, I requested a copy of USA Swimming’s 2010 letter to the police.
Corporal Cathleen Batton, the police spokeswoman, then emailed, “The precinct commanders are currently reviewing their files to see if the original letter, which was received nearly two years ago, was retained. Due to the length of time that has passed, we may no longer have it.”
A year after the letter, the coach in question, International Swimming Hall of Famer Murray Stephens, quietly left the club he had founded before selling it to Michael Phelps and his coach, Bob Bowman. Regardless of whether the Baltimore County police turn up the letter, this blog will be pursuing the truth of what happened to this alleged victim and to other girl athletes at one of the crown jewels of American age-group swimming.