by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
As the USA Swimming coach sexual abuse and cover-up scandal goes to Capitol Hill, we introduce a new weekly roundup column every Friday. Like all other formats in this medium, it is subject to change as events dictate. We will continue to highlight immediately any new developments bearing directly on the investigation by Congressman George Miller of California and his staff at the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
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USA Swimming’s Six-Figure “Independent Review” Expert Victor Vieth Bails on Scheduled Interview
Concussion Inc. has reported that Victor Vieth of the National Child Protection Training Center is refusing to disclose how much USA Swimming is paying him to conduct an “independent review” of the discredited “safe sport” program. See https://concussioninc.net/?p=8052.
A now-infamous internal USA Swimming memo, authored by board chair Bruce Stratton and CEO Chuck Wielgus, previously said the organization’s new strategy to improve “perceptions” would have initial costs of up to $200,000, with most of that going toward the independent review. So it seems accurate enough to interpolate that Vieth will be pulling in $100,000, give or take, for a few months of moonlighting.
SwimSwam.com reported that Vieth ducked out of a long-scheduled interview yesterday morning in which he was going to discuss the parameters of his review: “An hour prior to the interview, [assistant] Michael Richards called to cancel the interview. Mr. Vieth informed us that he was ‘not speaking to the media until the review is complete’ in January 2014.”
USA Swimming to Mitch Ivey Victim: Sorry, There Are Just So Many Suzette Morans Out There!
In June we reported that USA Swimming failed to contact Suzette Moran, one of the many victims of predatory coach Mitch Ivey, despite the fact that in 2011, Hall of Fame swimmer Nancy Hogshead-Makar of the Women’s Sports Foundation had given Moran’s name to USA Swimming safe sport director Susan Woessner as one example of athletes who were sitting on important information and standing by for calls from investigators. See https://concussioninc.net/?p=7766.
After abuse victims’ advocate Bob Allard lambasted the organization’s CEO Chuck Wielgus in an open letter, organized swimming dutifully “reached out to Moran.”
Let Moran herself take it from there: “When I was talking to the woman from USA Swimming … her name escapes me … I asked her why I wasn’t contacted. She said because we looked you up and there were 12 (number might not be right) Suzette Morans.”
There are two lessons here — the obvious one being that USA Swimming’s investigators are so lazy, and so determined to protect the interests of their fiefdom over the safety of America’s youth athletes, that it somehow didn’t occur to them to call through to all 12 Suzette Morans.
The other lesson is one of the stunning breadth of this scandal. There was a second Mitch Ivey victim with the last name of Moran — Noel Moran — who would commit suicide. And according to our best information, Noel Moran and Suzette Moran were not related.
Greg Winslow: Off on a Technicality in the Criminal Case in Arizona. But Not Innocent.
The attorney for Greg Winslow — the monster fired University of Utah coach who now is being sued by a woman he coached, first at the youth club on the Arizona State University campus and then for a year at Utah — told KPNX News12 in Phoenix: “As the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has concluded, Mr. Winslow simply has not engaged in any illegal conduct.”
Here is what the county attorney really said:
“After a careful review of the information contained in the investigation, we determined that there was sufficient cause to seek an indictment in this matter. However, we were unable to meet the necessary burden of proof required to move forward with formal charges. Absent additional information which could support these or other allegations, we will not pursue this matter further.”
Arizona’s sexual abuse statute is far tougher on victims than other states’. In Arizona, you have to prove that the perpetrator was specifically aware of lack of consent. There is no assumption that a younger victim might not have the capacity to express lack of consent in technically sufficient language or actions.
Winslow — not prosecuted. But not guilty? Hardly.
California Swim Club Board Member to Reporter: Haven’t You Ever Looked Up a Girl’s Skirt?
One of us, Tim Joyce, is looking into a scenario with wild, David Lynch-Twin Peaks overtones, at the Yosemite Swim Club in Oakhurst, California.
Former parents at the team are complaining to USA Swimming about harassment of their daughter-swimmer by the coach, and intimidation of the family by the husband of the club president. (1:21 p.m. 8/30/13: This post originally and mistakenly stated that the intimidator was the husband of the coach. He is the husband of the club president and himself a club vice president.)
Yosemite Swim Club is based at the Baker Swim Complex at Yosemite High School. The facility is named for Harry Baker, the head of Sierra Telephone and a former Madera County lawmaker. Baker is known in this region for one more thing: he was arrested four years ago for sexual impropriety with a 13 year-old girl, and there are numerous, decades-long rumors surrounding his behavior toward young girls. Additionally, Baker was arrested just last month on charges of firing a gun in a hotel room.
Meanwhile, the dissident swim family has demanded to know why USA Swimming will do nothing about club board member Glen Lauterbach, who is also an assistant golf coach at the high school. Plus, someone whose record includes a felony conviction for drug distribution.
In response to Joyce’s inquiry, Lauterbach sent back a remarkable email. Here are excerpts:
* the only things about Mr. Baker that I’m aware of are,
a) he’s been accused of some sort of sexual misconduct with a minor
b) his health is supposably not good
c) he was hanging around motels recently and fired a gun
d) he’s not allowed around my girls
* during my three month stay in a Christian treatment facility I found out that “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us”.
* Bill Clinton DID have sexual relations with that girl.
* That’s it but there’s one thing I’m interested in knowing about you. Did you ever drop your pencil in second or third grade so you could look up the cute girls skirt? Be honest.
Later, Lauterbach sent a second message to Joyce:
“This will be my last reply to any more emails. please except my apology for my response to your questions last night. It was inappropriate and i am truly sorry.”