Concussion Inc.’s Timeline For Fort Lauderdale City and USA Swimming Cover-Up of Abusive Human Trafficker Coach Alex Pussieldi

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FALL 2003. With assistant coach Alex Pussieldi chaperoning at a hotel during a meet in Orlando, video circulates of a girl swimmer on Hall of Fame coach Jack Nelson’s Fort Lauderdale Swim Team performing oral sex on the star male swimmer.

FALL-WINTER 2003. Rumors circulate that underage male swimmers who had been living in Pussieldi’s house were secretly videotaped by a camera hidden in a bathroom air conditioning vent.

FEBRUARY 13, 2004. Mexican swimmer Roberto Cabrera Paredes has a physical altercation with Pussieldi at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex. In complaints to the police and USA Swimming, Cabrera Paredes says Pussieldi choked him with a towel and punched him. Cabrera Paredes also says Pussieldi had been his legal guardian, and housed and secretly videotaped him, and possessed child porn on his computer and videos of his own sex acts with underage boys.

FEBRUARY-MARCH 2004. The Fort Lauderdale police Special Victims Unit investigates Cabrera Paredes’ allegations. Detectives talk with the father of Kaley Lucas, a swimmer who was the girlfriend of another foreign swimmer — a Brazilian national, like Pussieldi — who also discovered the sex-video system in Pussieldi’s house. Police are told that Pussiedi confessed to the Lucas family and said he was getting psychiatric help.

A Fort Lauderdale city commissioner asks the city manager to investigate the Pussieldi matter, but it is not clear from existing released documents whether a full administrative investigation was ever undertaken. Pussieldi resigned from the Fort Lauderdale team but retained his other coaching jobs in South Florida, including the head coaching position at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

Sharon Robb, swimming writer for the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, wrote about the Pussieldi-Cabrera Paredes altercation and Pussieldi’s resignation but not about the sex offense allegations. Emails at the time show that Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex manager Stu Marvin relied on Robb to help cover up the story. Robb told Pussieldi that she would help him keep it from “getting out of hand.”

2007. An anonymous packet is leaked to members of the Fort Lauderdale City Commission; it is turned over to the police and the Florida state’s attorney. Village Voice Media’s New Times weekly reports the existence of the packet and summarizes its contents, without naming Pussieldi. (The focus of the article is Diana Nyad’s charge that Jack Nelson raped her beginning when she was 14.)

2008. Acting on a tip from Internet service provider AOL, a multi-agency task force led by the FBI’s North Miami office arrests Pussieldi’s swim coach colleague at Pine Crest School, Roberto Caragol, for distribution of child pornography. Caragol confesses to those charges and to the molestation of several underage female and male swimmers.

NOVEMBER 2012. Florida parent and volunteer assistant coach J.P. Cote, a former Canadian national team swimmer, tells police in Plantation, a Fort Lauderdale suburb, and USA Swimming investigators that Pussieldi inappropriately touched a young male swimmer in public view on the deck at a swim meet. After Pussieldi threatens to sue Cote for defamation, Cote adds a USA Swimming complaint that Pussieldi violated the organization’s prohibition against retaliation for good-faith reports of sex abuse.

JULY 2013. After Nova Southeastern University ejects his Davie Nadadores program, following complaints of inadequate supervision of and misconduct involving foreign swimmers housed there, and on the eve of a suspension by Florida Gold Coast Swimming for illegal use of non-attached swimmers, Pussieldi announces his retirement from coaching. He moves back to Brazil and becomes a talent in a national television network’s Olympic coverage, as well as Brazilian correspondent for Swimming World magazine. But public property tax records show that he still owns a house in Fort Lauderdale.

FEBRUARY 2014. Concussion Inc. acquires and publishes a heavily redacted excerpt of a 2005 report by a USA Swimming investigator on the 2004 incident and the Cabrera Paredes allegations.

MARCH 2014. Pussieldi’s lawyer threatens to sue Concussion Inc.’s Irvin Muchnick.

APRIL 2014. Public records begin to reveal the extent of the 2004 cover-up by Fort Lauderdale police, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Jack Nelson swim team, and Sun-Sentinel writer Robb. Disputes remain over redactions in released documents and over the existence of additional documents.

Complete links to our Alex Pussieldi investigation are at https://concussioninc.net/?p=8652.

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