Quest Continues For Full Story of Alex Pussieldi’s Alleged Abuse of a Swimmer at Fort Lauderdale’s Pine Crest School

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by Irvin Muchnick

We have good information that Alex Pussieldi engaged in inappropriate behavior with a swimmer who attended Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale.

Of course, Pine Crest is already an historical capital of coach-on-athlete sex abuse — through anecdotes involving Hall of Fame coach Jack Nelson (whom Diana Nyad has credibly accused of molesting her there half a century ago) and Pussieldi co-Pine Crest staffer Roberto Caragol (who was busted for child porn in 2008 and confessed to sex offenses against underage swimmers of both genders).

As we delve into this new chapter of Pussieldi’s reign of terror in South Florida, I want to emphasize that the Pine Crest victim was not Leonardo Hobi Martins, a fellow Brazilian. It’s time to refine previous references to Martins in Concussion Inc.’s coverage. J.P. Cote, the Florida parent who is the most active and persistent investigator of Pussieldi on the ground there, is convinced that a source has been floating Martins’ name in connection with Pussieldi at Pine Crest as a piece of misdirection, in order to deflect information about someone else. Reviewing all the evidence, I think Cote is right about that.

Inside Broward County, it is already widely known that Martins was the boyfriend of Kaley Lucas who was being spied on by Pussieldi through a hidden camera. Pussieldi’s Peeping Tom videos were reported by another swimmer, Roberto Cabrera Paredes of Mexico, after Cabrera Paredes also complained to police and USA Swimming that Pussieldi battered him on the deck of the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex in February 2004. Multiple local sources say Pussieldi’s video sex crimes had been reported to the Fort Lauderdale police some months prior to the 2004 incident, as well.

(Kaley Lucas and her father, Rick Lucas, continue not to talk. We’ve left unanswered messages for Martins on Facebook.)

In the police Special Victims Unit report, recently released by the City of Fort Lauderdale after what appeared to be some double-clutching, Martins is almost certainly the redacted name of the witness who told Detective Jeff Jennings that when the swimmer was 18, there was an incident in which “Pussieldi touched [REDACTED] inappropriately.”

Local sources say Pussieldi and Martins remained close after the latter left for Arizona State University, and Pussieldi gave the swimmer expensive gifts, including a car. Upon the return of Martins to Florida, state records show that they were partners in “Best Swimming,” the business name of Pussieldi’s website with swimming information and tips. According to detractors, much of the content of the website was lifted from other swimming sites and simply translated into Portuguese for his Brazilian readership, without crediting the source.

So that’s the Leo Martins story, as best we now know it. Once again — this is not news in Fort Lauderdale and vicinity. When J.P. Cote started talking on deck with other area parents, coaches, and meet officials following his observation of Pussieldi’s misconduct at the Plantation Aquatic Complex in November 2012, the Martins name came up time and again. His angle on all this has been an open secret for a decade.

Martins, however, went to Cardinal Gibbons High School — not Pine Crest. Cote believes the Pine Crest victim and someone advocating on his behalf still have not come forward fully and clearly.

Complete links to our Alex Pussieldi investigation are at

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick