11 Open Questions About USA Swimming Human Trafficker Coach Alex Pussieldi

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May 2, 2014
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May 3, 2014

by Irvin Muchnick


The unofficial embargo on hard-hitting coverage of the USA Swimming sex abuse scandals by outlets larger than Concussion Inc. is about to break – we know of two major articles in the works, at least one of which is expected to find its way into print next week.

Tim Joyce and I have been investigating the Alex Pussieldi story since the beginning of the year. We spent weeks figuring out that a heavily redacted excerpt of a 2005 USA Swimming investigator’s report, which would become part of a public court file in a civil lawsuit by a victim of another coach, was about Pussieldi. We’ve spent three months revealing the decade-long cover-up of Pussieldi by national and local swimming, South Florida police agencies and governments, sports-addicted private schools, and the lapdog news media.

As more of the work here dribbles into mainstream coverage, these are key open questions.


1. Does the 2005 USA Swimming report of Roberto Cabrera Paredes’ complaint against Pussieldi include allegations of child pornography and of videos of his sex with underage boys?

On February 7 we reported that an excerpt of the report revealed the charge that Pussieldi had secretly videotaped Paredes and others (and we soon published the primary-source document). But we do not have the full report. https://concussioninc.net/?p=8621


2. Is Pussieldi still the Brazilian correspondent for Swimming World magazine?

On February 10 we began exploring Pussieldi’s broad network of high-level global swimming industry connections. But Swimming World has not responded to our queries regarding his status with the magazine. https://concussioninc.net/?p=8628


3. Where’s the mysterious 2007 “packet” that was leaked to the Fort Lauderdale city commissioners and forwarded to the local police and state attorney?

On February 12 we reported that records surfaced of 2003-04 information about Pussieldi in the course of public allegations by Diana Nyad that Pussieldi’s old boss, Hall of Fame coach Jack Nelson, had molested Nyad when she  was his teenage swimmer. The City of Fort Lauderdale has released heavily redacted and patently incomplete documents in response to our public records requests, and a legal fight looms. The office of the state attorney in Fort Lauderdale says it is processing our request there. https://concussioninc.net/?p=8659


4. Has Pussieldi really retired?

On February 13 we began reporting that many in the South Florida swimming community wonder if Pussieldi’s “Caribbean swimmer pipeline” is simply being fronted by new faces. Public records indicate that he has neither sold his home in Fort Lauderdale nor listed it for sale. https://concussioninc.net/?p=8668


5. What is happening with USA Swimming’s current “reopened” Pussieldi investigation?

On February 22 we first reported that USA Swimming safe sport director Susan Woessner and private investigator Nancy Fisher were interviewing sources in Florida. On March 4 we published a leaked email by Woessner in which she wrote that she was “committed to trying to right that wrong” in the original Pussieldi investigation. https://concussioninc.net/?p=8694; https://concussioninc.net/?p=8755


6. Did anyone connect the dots between Pussieldi and his Pine Crest School swim coach colleague Roberto Caragol, who is now in federal prison in Miami?

On February 23 we began our review of the 2008 prosecution of Caragol, a confessed distributor of Internet child pornography and rapist of girl and boy swimmers, who was prosecuted by the North Miami FBI office-led South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. https://concussioninc.net/?p=8713


7. How do USA Swimming and the police in Plantation, a Fort Lauderdale suburb, explain their slipshod handling of very recent – 2012-13 – new complaints about Pussieldi by swimming parents J.P. and Carolyn Cote?

On February 28 we began reporting this angle. https://concussioninc.net/?p=8740


8. When will the Archdiocese of Miami give a straight answer to questions about Pussieldi’s term as head swim coach at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale – in the years both before and after the 2004 police and USA Swimming complaints by Roberto Cabrera Paredes?

See https://concussioninc.net/?p=8783 and other posts on this subject.


9. Will the Tribune Company and its Fort Lauderdale newspaper, the Sun-Sentinel, take account of the participation of its swimming writer, Sharon Robb, in the 2004 Pussieldi cover-up coordinated by city parks and recreation department officials and Jack Nelson’s Fort Lauderdale Swim Team?

Our first of a series of stories on this dimension of the Pussieldi scandals is at https://concussioninc.net/?p=8852. Other media members who did not directly cover up, but did enable Pussieldi’s unsavory activities, are discussed at https://concussioninc.net/?p=8861.


10. Will a Hollywood Beach public safety officer and her father break their silence on Pussieldi’s confession to them of his Peeping Tom videotaping practices?

On April 16 we first reported on the potential witness roles of Kaley Lucas and Rick Lucas, and of Kaley’s boyfriend of a decade ago, Pussieldi’s fellow Brazilian Leonardo Hobi Martins. https://concussioninc.net/?p=8996


11. Will federal investigators probe the immigration legal services of the American Swimming Coaches Association in Pussieldi’s case and others’?

https://concussioninc.net/?p=9005; https://concussioninc.net/?p=9039



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

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick