Your Local YMCA: USA Swimming’s Partner in Keeping Coach Dustin Perry in Harm’s Way of Kids

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by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce

 

“Our Mission Statement: To put Christian Principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.”

Yesterday the YMCA of Jefferson County, in Mt. Vernon, Illinois — partners with the City of Centralia in the Barracudas USA Swimming club during the characteristically brief 2005-06 tenure of coach Dustin Perry — joined in no-commenting in response to Concussion Inc.’s questions about how Perry blew into and out of town. (The questions are at the bottom of this post.)

Though the national office asserts that Perry was never a Y employee in Illinois, minutes of the May 7, 2006, Illinois / Missouri YMCA Swim Committee show that he was a St. Louis District representative on the committee. See http://www.ilmoymcaswimming.org/maysc/UserFiles/File/Minutes/AreaMinutes20060507.pdf. If this document ever gets taken down, you will still be able to view it at http://muchnick.net/ymcaswim.pdf.

Let’s go over this one more time. In 2003 USA Swimming handed Dustin Perry an 18-month suspension for sexually tinged misconduct. Perry served the “penalty” coaching under Hall of Famer Jack Simon in Mexico, where Perry made contacts with Mexican swimmers, some of whom he brought back with him at subsequent U.S. coaching stops. USA Swimming’s original 2002-03 investigation of him at his club in Edmond, Oklahoma, already found that he had underage foreign exchange students living with him. That controversy also swirled around trips, including one to Las Vegas,  in which drinking and gambling occurred while Perry was chaperoning kids.

The swimming probe also found — but didn’t bother to explain or follow up — Perry’s dismissal from an Oklahoma branch of the YMCA, where he worked from 1994 to 1998.

Our tracking of Perry’s subsequent continent-hopping coaching career makes it possible … likely … that future employees were told none of this. Not even when Perry coached a club in partnership with a Y.

Today Perry is coaching the club out of the municipal aquatic complex in Carson City, Nevada — while USA Swimming carries on a new investigation, as slow as it is secretive, of the most recent allegations against him, while he was coaching a club in Pocatello, Idaho — an aspect of which is also being probed by law enforcement.

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Our unanswered questions to Jefferson County YMCA executive director Larry Cornett:

1. Was the Y in Mt. Vernon aware that, according to a 2003 USA Swimming investigation of Perry’s conduct that resulted in his 18-month suspension, Perry had been fired by a Y in Oklahoma in 1998?

2. Was the Y aware at all, at the time of Perry’s hire, that he had been suspended by the national sport governing body for prior misconduct? Were you aware that he served that suspension coaching in Mexico? Were you aware that, as far back as Oklahoma, Perry’s investigative files show that he has a history of housing underage boys, including foreign nationals? ([The Centralia Recreation Department’s Sonya Germann] has told us that Perry’s criminal background check was “clear,” but that does not answer this set of questions.)

3. What were the circumstances of Perry’s hire? Did he respond to a general advertisement for a new coach? Was he referred to you by someone, and if so, who was that?

4. What were the circumstances of Perry’s departure after a very brief tenure in Illinois — consistent with his career-long pattern?

PREVIOUSLY IN THIS SERIES:

 

EXCLUSIVE: USA Swimming Allows Coach Under Investigation — With a Five-State Trail And Previous Suspension For Sexual Abuse — to Move to New Team

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Dustin Perry — Whose USA Swimming Investigation Lags While He Takes Yet Another New Coaching Job — Ran Dryland Workouts in Idaho Out of a Mysterious Space Called the ‘Tiger Den’

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ASCA Hall of Famer Jack Simon Employed Suspended Coach Dustin Perry in Mexico. So Who Protects Youth Athletes? USA Swimming? ASCA? Neither?

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Is Recidivist Abusive Coach Dustin Perry Still on the Pool Deck in Carson City? USA Swimming Club’s Board Reportedly Meeting Thursday Night

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Dustin Perry — Once-Suspended USA Swimming Coach Facing Abuse Allegations in Idaho — Has a History of Boys Living With Him

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What the Vieth Report Won’t Talk About: Why Youth-Damaging Coaches Like Dustin Perry Remain on the Pool Decks of USA Swimming

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Mexican Swimmer Confirms USA Swimming Talked to Him in Investigation of Coach Dustin Perry’s Controversial History

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YMCA Aspect of Dustin Perry USA Swimming Abuse Scandals

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Dustin Perry Trail: Illinois Swim Club Acknowledges His Presence in 2005-06, Proclaims ‘Clear Background Check,’ Otherwise Joins National Info Blackout

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