The United States Olympics community has been rocked by yet another sexual abuse scandal.
Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors has publicly come forward and accused her former coach, Sean Hutchison, of sexually abusing her when she was only 16.
The now 28-year-old athlete shared her accusations a day after Homeland Security investigators’ search of Hutchison’s Seattle home.
It’s said the authorities were looking for sexually explicit photos Sean allegedly took of a teenage Kukors. Per the retired Olympian’s attorneys, the investigators seized computers and phones for examination purposes.
Ariana, who was once a member of the 2012 Olympic team and was the 2009 World champion in the 200-meter individual medley, told police Hutchison started the abuse when she was 16 and continued the inappropriate behavior until she was 24. However, according to Kukors, the swim coach started grooming her when she was 13 and that the nude pics were taken when she was 17.
As to why she came forward, Ariana has expressed a concern that Sean may still be abusing young women. In a statement, the Washington native explained:
“I never thought I would share my story because, in so many ways, just surviving was enough. I was able to leave a horrible monster and build a life I could have never imagined for myself. But in time, I’ve realized that stories like my own are too important to go unwritten. Not for the sake of you knowing my story, but for the little girls and boys whose lives and future hangs in the grasp of a horribly powerful and manipulative person. That they may not have to go through the same pain, trauma, horror, and abuse. That their parents, mentors, and guardians are better able to spot the signs of grooming and realize its tragic consequences before it’s too late.”
Man, oh man. Reportedly, Hutchison stepped down from his role with the U.S. Olympic team in 2010 amid rumors he was having relations with a swimmer. Nonetheless, Sean’s coaching career continued as he’s currently the CEO of an elite Seattle-based swim team.
USA Swimming has since commented on the controversy as they confirmed that there was an investigation into the rumored relationship between Hutchison and Kukors. The organization defended that, after interviewing Kukors and her sister, both women “unequivocally denied the existence of a romantic or sexual relationship.”
The statement by USA Swimming went on to note that Kukors’ recent public allegation was the first time they learned that Hutchison may’ve sexually abused Ariana when she was a minor. They added:
“Our hearts go out to Ariana and the difficulty she has gone through to reach this point of disclosure. We fully support her in her case for answers and justice and applaud her courage in sharing her story in an effort to empower victims and protect athletes.”
Hutchison has not been charged with a crime.
Be sure to stay tuned for more details as we’re certain this isn’t the last we’ve heard of this scandal.
[Image via Instagram.]