While Fort Lauderdale Maintains Alex Pussieldi Public Records Redactions, Let’s Review What Is Known About Sex Videotaping Allegations Against Him

Published March 27th, 2014, Uncategorized

by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce

 

Last night we published the most important of the documents we’ve received in response to public records requests from the city of Fort Lauderdale. Concussion Inc. is studying a possible legal appeal of the heavy redactions on those three pages.

This is an opportunity to review for readers who are new to our coverage what we can say with certainty about the “sex, lies, and videotaping” allegations against Alex Pussieldi in the last decade.

First, here again is the verbiage in a 2005 report by a USA Swimming investigator:

 

[REDACTED] was asked where he resided in [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] reported that [REDACTED] had informed [REDACTED] of the opportunity to rent a room in the home of Assistant Coach [REDACTED]. Consequently, [REDACTED] arrived in [REDACTED] and moved into [REDACTED] residence. [REDACTED] was asked how his room and board were paid and [REDACTED] reported that his parents paid his room and board expenses from Mexico. When asked, [REDACTED] reported that other swimmers also resided with [REDACTED] in [REDACTED] home. [REDACTED] identified [REDACTED] [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] all from Brazil. When asked, [REDACTED] reported that [REDACTED] is currently enrolled at the [REDACTED] in [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] has returned to Brazil.

[REDACTED] reported that he resided in [REDACTED] until 2002 when he moved from [REDACTED] residence and rented an apartment. [REDACTED] added that he moved due to [REDACTED] inappropriate behavior […]

[REDACTED] was asked if [REDACTED] ever video taped he or other swimmers without their knowledge or approval and [REDACTED] said yes. [REDACTED] added that the video tape incident is what caused his falling out with [REDACTED] and why he moved out of [REDACTED] residence and refused to take coaching direction from him. When asked to explain, [REDACTED] reported that one night in November or December 2001 he was living in [REDACTED] residence when he got up to use the bathroom. [REDACTED] reported that as he entered the bathroom, [REDACTED] was in the bathroom which was to be used exclusively by [REDACTED] and the other swimmers who resided in [REDACTED] residence. According to [REDACTED], [REDACTED] had his own private bathroom. [REDACTED] reported that he observed [REDACTED] holding a drill and it was obvious that he was performing some work in the bathroom. [REDACTED] reported that [REDACTED] quickly exited the bathroom and shortly thereafter, [REDACTED] observed a hidden camera in a heating vent located in the bathroom.[…]

[REDACTED] was asked if he told anyone about the hidden camera and [REDACTED] reported that he did not immediately tell anyone. [REDACTED] reported that after a few days he told [REDACTED] about the camera in the bathroom but [REDACTED] did not believe him. [REDACTED] reported that he also told [REDACTED] another swimmer who then resided in the house about the hidden camera. [REDACTED] reported that [REDACTED] told [REDACTED] that he too had seen the camera in the bathroom. [REDACTED] reported that [REDACTED] corroborated [REDACTED] claim and they both advised [REDACTED] about the camera. [REDACTED] was asked if he showed [REDACTED] or [REDACTED] the hidden camera and [REDACTED] said he did not and he believed [REDACTED] had removed it after [REDACTED] saw [REDACTED] in the bathroom.

[REDACTED] continued and reported that sometime thereafter, the exact date [REDACTED] could not recall, he with [REDACTED] observed a tape in a VCR located in [REDACTED] bedroom. [REDACTED] was not in the room at the time. The two engaged the VCR machine and on the tape saw themselves, specifically [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] using the bathroom at various times. [REDACTED] was asked whaat he did after discovering the tape. [REDACTED] said he and [REDACTED] were scared but said nothing to anyone at the time.[…]

[REDACTED] was asked if anyone in a position of authority ever questioned him about the videotape or the hidden camera. [REDACTED] reported that in 2002 or 2003 he informed coach [REDACTED] about the hidden camera and video tape they discovered in [REDACTED] VCR. [REDACTED] said that [REDACTED] told him not to tell anyone because it could ruin the [REDACTED] Swim Club’s reputation. [REDACTED] reported that [REDACTED] made the off hand remark that he couldn’t believe that someone else was having problems with Coach [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] stated that [REDACTED] confided in him that he was aware that [REDACTED] had previously had similar problems with [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] said that he asked [REDACTED] what he meant and [REDACTED] told him that [REDACTED] had personal problems and an unusual infatuation and physical attraction to [REDACTED]. However, [REDACTED] was aware of his personal problem and was receiving professional help from a psychiatrist.[…]

[REDACTED] was asked what [REDACTED] told him he would do in response to this information.[REDACTED] reported that [REDACTED] told him that he was going to confront [REDACTED] and tell [REDACTED] that he needed to work out this incident with [REDACTED].

[REDACTED] reported that [REDACTED] did subsequently contact [REDACTED] and told him to contact [REDACTED] and to work this problem out. [REDACTED] reported that he knew this because [REDACTED] came to [REDACTED] apartment and confront [REDACTED] about having viewed [REDACTED] video tapes. [REDACTED] said that he was scared of [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] told him that it didn’t matter what he said because no one would believe him because he had no proof.

… [REDACTED] said that he believed that [REDACTED] had likely destroyed the tapes however, he had heard a rumor that [REDACTED]had informed his girlfriend about having seen thetape and she had informed her parents. When asked, [REDACTED] identified the girlfriend as[REDACTED] a [REDACTED] Area resident. Reportedly, [REDACTED] parents confronted Coach [REDACTED] about this report and [REDACTED] then advised [REDACTED] of this report of improper videotaping of swimmers. According to [REDACTED], [REDACTED] advised [REDACTED] not to report it because [REDACTED] was then getting professional help. [REDACTED] continued and reported that he was also told that [REDACTED] parents had a meeting with [REDACTED] [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] at the [REDACTED] Aquatic Complex to discuss the supposed problem and [REDACTED] parents received assurances that [REDACTED] was getting help.

 

USA Swimming has no defense – none – to the accusation that they had every reason to believe the worst about what the Mexican swimmer was saying about Pussieldi. The Colorado Springs-based national governing body both had experience with true Peeping Tom videotaping allegations about coaches, and had experience in committing unindicted perjury about their knowledge of them.

Indiana coach Brian Hindson, now in federal prison as a child pornographer, kept hidden-camera locker room videos of his disrobing swimmers. In his testimony in a civil lawsuit, USA Swimming chief Chuck Wielgus maintained that policing video technology of any kind was “not even on the radar screen” before 2008, the year Michael Phelps was embarrassed when a cell phone captured him inhaling marijuana from a bong at a party.

Apparently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the FBI’s 1990s television show America’s Most Wanted don’t count as being on the radar screen. Perhaps they were on Wielgus’s Facebook favorites instead. In 1998 a Pennsylvania coach, John Trites, became a fugitive from justice (and we believe he is still at large) on federal charges of child porn, tampering with evidence, and the evidence itself – which was his secret locker room video spying system on the naked athletes in his charge. At the FBI’s request, USA Swimming sent out a nationwide lookout message to clubs and pools.

By the way, Wielgus will be right where he belongs on June 14 – in Fort Lauderdale, accepting induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Complete links to Concussion Inc.’s Pussieldi investigation are at https://concussioninc.net/?p=8652.