Does MSHSL or Mn Hockey have such a list of banned coaches

Discussion of Minnesota Girls High School Hockey

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C.A.H.A suspension link

Post by greybeard58 » Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:39 am

Would be nice if a type of link could be available for at least suspensions for the most serious offences especially those for Safesport's violations

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"How many more cases and cover ups of abuse need to occur for USOPC to finally take sexual abuse seriously?"

Post by greybeard58 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:20 am

"How many more cases and cover ups of abuse need to occur for USOPC to finally take sexual abuse seriously?"

An American think tank that studies child sexual abuse and prevention is asking the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USPOC) to suspend Stan Bowman from his position as general manager of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team while he faces allegations that he helped cover up the sexual abuse of two Chicago Blackhawks players.

In a Sept. 10 letter to USPOC chief executive Sarah Hirshland, Marci Hamilton, founder of the advocacy group Child USA, wrote that Bowman, who is also the current GM of the Blackhawks, should be suspended by USA Hockey.

“I write to you today to request the suspension of Stan Bowman from his position as general manager of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team and that an independent investigation into Bowman’s behavior in his role as general manager of hockey operations of the Blackhawks NHL team be conducted,” Hamilton wrote.

Child USA provided TSN with a copy of Hamilton’s letter, which was also addressed to USOPC chair Susanne Lyons, its board members, and Elizabeth Ramsey, executive director of the USOPC’s Athletes’ Advisory Council.

Hamilton said in a phone interview on Saturday that she decided to engage in the Blackhawks’ scandal because she sees it as evidence of a repeated pattern.

“This is the paradigm we keep seeing,” Hamilton said. “Not only do we have a perpetrator, but powerful institutions are essentially ignoring the fact that they have an abuser in their midst. This isn’t just a church or a boy scout problem. It’s a societal problem and this is a great example of that.”

Spokesmen for the Blackhawks and USA Hockey did not respond to requests for comment. A USOPC spokesman said he was unaware if the committee's leadership had received the correspondence.

Copies of Hamilton’s three-page letter were also sent to U.S. senators Richard Blumenthal and Jerry Moran.

Blumenthal and Moran led an 18-month investigation into systemic abuse within the U.S. Olympic movement and advocated for the passage of the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act, which was passed in October 2020 and imposed reforms in the Olympic world, forcing more oversight of the coaches and executives who control the sports.

The act permits Congress to dissolve the board of directors of the Olympic committee and to decertify offending national governing bodies.
“What we’re seeing now with the Blackhawks and USA Hockey is shocking not because of the behaviour of the predator,” Hamilton said in an interview. “What’s shocking is that it’s been 19 years since we learned, thanks to the Boston Globe journalists, how the bishops in the Catholic church repeatedly covered up sexual abuse by priests. This hockey case is shocking because by now people should know the proper way to respond to allegations like this.”

The Boston Globe's team of investigative journalists in 2002 published a series of stories detailing a pattern of sexual abuse of minors by priests and a widespread culture of cover-up.

Congressional hearings to discuss reforms of the USOPC are scheduled for Wednesday and Hamilton said that her staff has scheduled time with Blumenthal and Moran’s staff before then to make sure they are briefed on the Blackhawks case.

“I know that the senators are going to be interested in this,” Hamilton said in an interview.

Hamilton’s letter recounts allegations made against Bowman and his Blackhawks management colleagues in a pair of lawsuits filed earlier this year in Chicago against the team.

One lawsuit, filed by a former Blackhawks player referred to as “John Doe 1” in court documents, alleges that after the team’s management was informed that former video coach Brad Aldrich had allegedly sexually assaulted two players during the 2009-10 season, the team allowed him to remain employed through the end of that season, and refused to report the allegations to police.

A second lawsuit filed by a former high school hockey player in Houghton, Mich., who is referred to as “John Doe 2” in court documents, alleges that the Blackhawks gave Aldrich a positive job reference that allowed him to secure positions within the hockey department of Miami University in Ohio and later as a high school coach in Houghton, where in 2013 he was convicted of sexually assaulting the then-16-year-old player.

The Blackhawks have claimed in court documents that the team investigated the allegations and found them to be meritless. The team said in a court filing on Friday that the former Blackhawks player’s lawsuit should be dismissed because of limitation periods, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The Blackhawks also said the former high school player’s lawsuit should be dismissed because there was a lack of evidence to support the claim the team provided Aldrich with a job reference, The Sun-Times reported. The newspaper reported that the NHL team has asked the former high school player’s attorney to withdraw that lawsuit.

With media scrutiny over the scandal increasing, the Blackhawks in June hired Chicago lawyer Reid Schar to look into the claims. The Blackhawks say the investigation is independent and that they will make Schar's findings public. The NHL has said it's awaiting the results of Schar's investigation before taking any possible action.

“This investigation is not neutral,” Hamilton wrote in her letter to the USOPC. “A truly independent investigation cannot be funded by the organization whose executives reportedly covered up Aldrich’s abuse. Miami University has opened an internal investigation, but the scope is limited to the four months he was employed at the University.

“Bowman is still the general manager of the Blackhawks and earlier this year he was appointed as the general manager of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team for the 2022 Beijing Games. How could Bowman, who has been publicly accused of covering up the abuse of a serial predator, be allowed to lead USA Hockey and represent our country at the international level?”

Based at the University of Pennsylvania, Child USA has lobbied federal and state governments in recent years over issues including expanding statutes of limitations to provide victims of childhood sexual abuse with more time to file lawsuits related to their abuse.

Hamilton wrote the first draft of the Child Victims Act, which was passed in January 2019 by New York state. Accusers in the state can now file lawsuits until they are 55. Before the new law was approved, victims of childhood sexual abuse had until they were 21 to sue the institution where the abuse took place, and until 23 to sue their attacker.

Hamilton also referred in her letter to the USOPC to disgraced USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced in 2018 to 40 to 175 years in prison after more than 150 women and girls said in court that he sexually abused them over two decades.

“Just as there is a public demand for accountability and transparency from USA Gymnastics in light of the Nassar abuse case, I ask for accountability from USOPC regarding Bowman’s alleged role in covering up Aldrich’s abuse,” Hamilton wrote. “It is unacceptable to allow Bowman to serve in his role as General Manager of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team while an investigation is ongoing.

"…I request that Bowman be removed from USA Hockey, or at the very least be put on leave while a truly independent investigation considers his response to Aldrich’s abuse. How many more cases and cover ups of abuse need to occur for USOPC to finally take sexual abuse seriously?”

It’s unclear whether the USOPC has the legal ability to force USA Hockey to place Bowman on administrative leave, said a person familiar with the matter.

At the least, the USOPC could refuse to provide him with a credential to attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, the person said. Given the Olympic reforms passed in congress, if any elected officials show an interest in the case, it would be more likely the USOPC would pressure USA Hockey to address the allegations against Bowman, the person said.

Advocacy group wants Bowman suspended from U.S. Olympic team
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SafeSport, The USOC's Attempt To Stop Child Abuse, Is Set Up To Fail—Just Like It Was Supposed To

Post by greybeard58 » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:50 pm

SafeSport, The USOC's Attempt To Stop Child Abuse, Is Set Up To Fail—Just Like It Was Supposed To
Diana Moskovitz
7/24/18 9:25AM
As he was questioned by lawyers in 2015 over and over again about what he did and did not know about sexual abuse suffered by Olympic athletes, then-U.S. Olympic Committee lawyer Gary Johansen made a choice. No matter the question, no matter which lawyer asked it, Johansen did not say “child abuse,” he did not say “sexual assault,” and he did not say “rape.” What he did say, over and over again in his deposition, was “SafeSport.” The USOC, he said each time, wasn’t responding to a crisis of rampant sex abuse. No, he said, these were “SafeSport issues.”
The choice of the phrase stands out. It is, for one thing, a pleasant-sounding euphemism for a horrible set of acts. It is, for another, a phrase the USOC trademarked in 2012, before it took serious steps toward opening an “independent” arm to investigate sex abuse, before the latest round of Congressional hearings, and before Larry Nassar became a household name for his decades of preying on female athletes. By using the phrase over and over again, Johansen was able to erase people’s very real pain and suffering and replace it with a catchphrase. (Johansen, who has since retired from the USOC, did not return a message left at his home.)

Over time, the phrase SafeSport has come to mean several distinct things. It is the name adopted by various governing bodies whenever they have a sexual abuse scandal and need to promise to do more education and prevention. It is a program of sexual assault education and prevention in various Olympic sports. It is—and this is what people are most likely to think of when they hear the word SafeSport, if they know it at all—an actual, physical center in Denver that handles reports of possible sexual abuse in Olympic sports. But above all, SafeSport is a brand, and it functions as one.
Even if it was perfectly engineered, SafeSport would have difficulty achieving its aims, and it is far from perfectly engineered. Records, interviews, and an examination of the relevant history show that while basic groundwork has yet to be laid to protect athletes from abuse, SafeSport has already been deployed to make any parents’ concerns just go away.

First there are the logistics. The caseload number, as given to Deadspin, is 19 cases per investigator, more than half again as high as the general recommendation for caseworkers in state-provided children’s services. (That number is itself arguably far too high.) The budget for education, intended to prevent future abuse, is just $1.5 million and the overall budget when the SafeSport CEO spoke to Congress was a paltry $4.6 million. (For comparison, anti-doping agency USADA had total expenses in 2016 of close to $20 million.) Child abuse is a problem that can be significantly mitigated with money, and yet it seems that nobody—not even Congress—can be bothered to do just that.
Then there is the center’s claim to be independent from the USOC. The word “independent” or “independence” came up nine times at a congressional hearing earlier this year. But no matter how many times SafeSport CEO Shellie Pfohl promises independence, the center’s history tells a different story. The center is not only reliant on funding from the USOC and other national sports bodies, but is a root-and-branch creation of the USOC. Meeting minutes for the first two years of the SafeSport board, reviewed by Deadspin, show that many of the USOC’s top people, including lawyers like Gary Johansen, were present at meetings offering the SafeSport board guidance and direction. Among them was current SafeSport chief operating officer Malia Arrington, who once said in a deposition that she had no authority to make USA Taekwondo ban a coach despite evidence of sexual abuse. She was, while on the USOC’s payroll, SafeSport’s acting CEO for most of 2016, the key person leading the board through questions about how the center would work and what its priorities would be. She’s still there, as SafeSport’s COO. The USOC even controlled SafeSport’s bank account, meeting minutes said, until last year.
SafeSport disputed questions about its independence, with a spokeswoman saying in a statement: “There are a lot of people who are thankful for the center, its mission and work in the movements.” When asked why so many USOC people were included in the creation of SafeSport, USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said SafeSport “was an idea created by the USOC,” an answer that ignores decades of work of by athletes and activists, especially Champion Women CEO Nancy Hogshead-Makar, demanding the USOC do something to respond to the abuse crisis in Olympic sports.
The USOC exists because of an act of Congress, the Ted Stevens Act, which chartered the organization and gave it nonprofit status. Congress could step in and rewrite the rules that structure Olympic governance; it could fund the SafeSport center to levels that would allow it to protect children in Olympic sports; it could acknowledge that child abuse happens across all walks of life and make the entire issue a national priority.
But Congress itself can’t be bothered to fund the SafeSport center (and, it’s worth noting, has previously held hearings to berate Olympic leaders that accomplished little beyond generating headlines and press releases). It has provided zero dollars directly to SafeSport and instead set up a grant that the center has to apply for—via the attorney general’s office, the same one that recently played a role in separating immigrant parents and their children. That grant, which SafeSport will have to spend time and money to get, is for about $2.2 million. It’s telling that even Congress, the very architects of the American Olympic movement, can’t be bothered to do more than the barest of minimums.
For all the hoopla and all the press releases and all the hearings where elected officials scowl for the cameras, nothing has changed, with the notable exception of the SafeSport brand suddenly appearing everywhere. No children are any safer.
“If you want to molest kids, the USOC is like Disneyland,” said attorney Jon Little, who has played a part in multiple lawsuits against various sport governing bodies, including lawsuits filed earlier this year against USA Taekwondo and USA Diving. “The SafeSport center is just a way to whitewash it.”
If it weren’t the Olympics—shrouded in flags, patriotism, our national anthem, and tear-jerking video montages—the structure of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the organizations it “charters” to oversee each sport would be understood as what it is: A strange, shell corporation-like setup that may not launder money but does, conveniently, dodge liability. In fact, that might be the most important function that the USOC provides within the Olympic movement: a quick and easy path to plausible deniability for any higher-up who needs to tell a reporter or a lawyer that whatever horrible human actions have been uncovered—like the many cases of young Olympics being abused and raped by their coaches—aren’t their fault.
That’s why, when there is a scandal, the USOC is quick to point out that it doesn’t run the sports it oversees; that is done by the national governing bodies, which it charters and partially funds but which largely run themselves. That’s why, when convenient, the USOC will say it can’t tell NGBs what to do, even though through funding or the threat of decertification, it can. That’s why they will insist, over and over again, that there is no such thing as a USOC athlete; the athletes belong to the national governing bodies, or NGBs. (USOC communications director Christy Cahill once sent Deadspin a correction request for using the phrase “USOC athlete” in a blog post. “The NGBs, in this case USA Taekwondo, manage all of the athlete relationships and no athletes are ‘USOC athletes,’” she wrote.)
“If you want to molest kids, the USOC is like Disneyland. The SafeSport center is just a way to whitewash it.”
According to the USOC’s own tax returns, it’s largely a tax-exempt funnel for cash. The most recent tax return for the USOC, from 2016, tells the story. Their No. 1 expense is giving money back to the NGBs (who pad their executives’ salaries while not paying athletes); their No. 2 expense is running the Olympic training center, which one report found was mostly used by non-Olympians; their No. 3 expense is sending athletes to compete; No. 4 is supporting the Paralympics; and No. 5 is “broadcast properties.” The USOC’s tax returns describe that duty, which costs them more than $10 million, as a mix of working to “secure and nurture” its relationship with broadcast partner NBC (which also sponsors SafeSport) while also growing and developing digital platforms for the Olympic movement, like the website.
Another $4 million is spent on “communications,” more than $2 million on international relations, and $4 million on drug control. By their own accounting, the USOC spends a lot of money on public relations. A big part of its job is being a tax-exempt marketing agency. And that’s on top of the CEO’s million-dollar salary and the more than a dozen executives below him earning six figures in 2016, including a chief marketing officer, not one but two managing directors of marketing, and a chief of communications.
Here’s what the USOC does not do: “The USOC does not train and develop athletes, train and develop coaches, train and create officials, run events, develop grassroots programs to allow children to enter sports, create national physical testing programs to determine an individuals athletic proficiencies or capabilities, establish or develop any facilities in any sport (not that they should ) ... or really have any real influence on the ultimate success of our athletes in Olympic sport,” said Mike Jacki, who was USA Gymnastics president from 1983 to 1994.
The USOC made this argument itself in a recent response to several Nassar-related lawsuits against it. USOC lawyers argued that it should be dismissed from several lawsuits because it has no control over USA Gymnastics. “At an organizational level, USA Gymnastics is not an “affiliate” through which USOC operates, unlike the local soccer organizations in US Youth,” the motion to dismiss reads. “To the contrary, under the ASA, USA Gymnastics is an independent, autonomous organization that exercises complete control over its sport ... In other words, control of USA Gymnastics is alleged to reside with USA Gymnastics itself.”
Nonprofit watchdogs will tell you that a wishy-washy descriptor of what an agency does is usually a warning sign, and the USOC’s own description of itself to the IRS is a battery of empty language: “To support U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes in achieving sustained competitive excellence while demonstrating the values of the Olympic Movement, thereby inspiring all Americans.”
In other words, the USOC spends a lot of money on largely vague purposes, plus its own expenses. And “sexual-abuse allegations represent a threat to this steady stream of commercial success,” in the words of one recent lawsuit filed against USA Diving and Ohio State for their failures to prevent sexual abuse by a coach. “For this reason, the USOC tries at every opportunity to suppress the public from recognizing that the USOC is a complete sham.”
And that stream of commercial success is all about broadcast partnerships. In 2016, the USOC received more than $172 million in revenue from broadcast rights. The second-biggest source of income, at more than $120 million, was royalties. Revenue from broadcasting went down in 2015, a non-Olympic year, but royalties didn’t. They still generated about $101 million that year, according to tax returns.
So it fits with a morbid pattern that the USOC, which functionally ignored child abuse for decades, has responded to an abuse crisis with a branding campaign. That’s what public relations and marketing are for—turning negatives into positives.
One timeline put together by attorneys and advocates for athletes dates the first report of sex abuse by an Olympic coach all the way back to 1990. In 1991, the topic of preventing sex abuse came up at a meeting of a USA Swimming ad hoc committee, according to documents obtained by the website Swim Vortex. The documents showed no action taken on that issue. More scandals emerged across multiple sports over the decades, but little changed.
Then in 2010, a series of reports aired on ABC and ESPN exposing how little USA Swimming did to protect its athletes from sexual abuse: There were no pre-hiring background checks, many people never thought to report warning signs they saw, and many others willfully looked the other way because they put winning first. In response, USA Swimming started a program it dubbed SafeSport, which the entire Olympic movement later adopted.
From there came lots of meetings. First, the USOC started a task force. That task force issued a report in September 2010, and gave quotes to reporters about how they would get it right this time. A year later, in 2011, there still wasn’t a robust training program, or a centralized model for education across all sports, or a way to make sure bad coaches weren’t jumping from sport to sport to avoid detection, all of which the task force had recommended. But the USOC did file an application for a trademark on the name SafeSport. The application provides the best insight into what the USOC really wanted SafeSport to be. From the application:
Educational services, namely, conducting classes, seminars, presentations, workshops and providing education and resources (both printed and electronic) to prevent the maltreatment of athletes in organized sport; developing, publishing and promoting practices, policies and procedures to prevent the maltreatment of athletes in organized sport
A few months later, they amended their application to include “promoting awareness of the need to prevent maltreatment” and “developing voluntary standards.”

Over and over again, the phrase “voluntary standards” pops up in the trademark application materials. A year later, in 2012, they added what looks like a printout of a very cheerful website.

The application for a trademark was approved in August 2012. A month later, the Wayback Machine first captured looking a lot like what was described in the trademark application. By then, the USOC had also hired Arrington—a lawyer who said under oath in a deposition that she had no prior experience as an attorney working with sex-abuse victims—to be their senior director of ethics and SafeSport. She described her duties to stop sex abuse this way in a 2015 deposition:
Trademark in hand, Olympic officials could now bring up SafeSport as needed.
In 2013, when US Speedskating had to settle with a group of athletes who said they were abused by their coach, the USOC promised to expand the nebulous SafeSport program and create an independent agency to address the issue. The people in that discussion included the then-CEO of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny, who eventually left in disgrace over how he’d handled the Larry Nassar scandal.
In 2014, a group of 19 female swimmers said they were sexually abused by their swim coaches, forcing the International Swimming Hall of Fame to rescind an invite to the head of USA Swimming, Chuck Wielgus. And what did Wieglus trot out in defense of his reputation? SafeSport. A statement from Wielgus said, “While USA Swimming developed its groundbreaking SafeSport Program, I championed the work of our national governing body. I talked about all the good that USA Swimming was doing in the fight to eradicate sexual abuse.”
Later that year, when Outside magazine reported extensively on the ongoing issue of sexual abuse across Olympic sports, especially swimming, Olympic leaders once again called on SafeSport. The article notes the SafeSport center will open, eventually, and goes into detail about the success of the SafeSport program in USA Swimming, overseen by Susan Woessner. (Woessner resigned earlier this year after the Orange County Register reported that in 2007, she was part of a USA Swimming sexual misconduct investigation that cleared swimming coach Sean Hutchison, who Woessner had kissed three years earlier. The swimmer in that case, Ariana Kukors Smith, has since said Hutchison was abusing her.)
But the brand was already on full display. The USOC held a SafeSport summit in 2014 that, per its own press release, “left each attendee inspired to take action.” What didn’t make the press release is the fact that that, as Outside reported, former short-track speed skater Bridie Farrell said at the conference that she had been sexually abused by a fellow skater, Andy Gabel. Gabel admitted to misconduct in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, but didn’t lose his lifetime membership to US Speedskating until 2016.
In June 2014, the SafeSport website had existed for two years. As captured by the Wayback Machine, it offered this advice on how to handle a report of possible child abuse.

It does not mention calling law enforcement or any authority outside the Olympic system.
In her deposition, Arrington would use the website as one of the big results of her work. (Estey refers to the lawyer for the one of the plaintiffs.)

When the Government Accountability Office did a report on abuse in athletics in 2015, the USOC once again trotted out SafeSport. They told the GAO that SafeSport was its “athlete safety program.” The physical center that had been promised still did not exist. That same year, according to USOC tax records, the organization finally amended its bylaws, “requiring members to comply with safe sport policies of the USOC and the independent safe sport organization designated by the USOC to enhance safe sport practices and to investigate and resolve safe sport violations.”
In 2015, USA Swimming held its own SafeSport conference. Dani Bostick, who was abused by her swimming coach in the 1980s, was invited to speak there. She described the experience as having little to do with preventing sexual abuse, and mostly about marketing.
“It was them using me as a victim show pony,” she said. “There was no significant content on actually preventing sexual abuse, and I left the conference going, ‘Why does this even exist?’”
In 2016, though, when the story of abuse in gymnastics first broke, the first solution proposed by the USOC was SafeSport, with Arrington giving quotes to reporters. That same year, SafeSport did an inquiry into a diving coach sexually abusing a young diver, according to a lawsuit filed by the diver this month.

In 2018, the USOC documented the transfer of its trademark on “SafeSport” to the SafeSport center—the same center that is supposed to be independent of the USOC.
Asked for comment, USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky asked to speak on background, and said he couldn’t answer all of Deadspin’s questions within the 30 minutes he had allotted. Over email, he promised to look into why the USOC holds the trademark on SafeSport, and he sent a link to a 2017 letter to two senators from then-USOC CEO Scott Blackmun, which said delays in opening the SafeSport Center were due to it “[taking] more time and effort from more people than we expected.”
Asked to address the critique that the USOC is largely a marketing agency that now has been tasked with addressing sexual abuse, he wrote back: “The vast majority of our staff are dedicated to elite sport performance, including coaches, nutritionists, psychologists, physiologists, chiropractors, strength and conditioning experts, to name a few, all dedicated to delivering against the USOC mission of supporting athletes in achieving sustained competitive excellence.” As for the trademark, Sandusky said it was secured “to protect the name of the center for safe sport, not for marketing reasons.”
For the SafeSport center to have a chance, athletes need to believe in its independence. Otherwise, SafeSport will run into the same issue that has plagued law enforcement, child services, Title IX officers, and human resources departments: Victims avoid reporting to enforcement offices that they view as prioritizing the reputations of their institutions over individuals. Independence is hard enough to sell given that SafeSport existed for several years as little more than a USOC trademark, a website maintained by the USOC, and a nice catchphrase to trot out when another sexual-abuse scandal broke. But documentation of the earliest meetings of SafeSport board show that any assertion of independence is, at best, magical thinking.
First, there’s the matter of the SafeSport board of directors. USOC chief of sports operations Rick Adams is not on the board, but his own USOC biography page says that he “led the hiring of a CEO and a nine-member, independent board of directors” for SafeSport. Adams is accused in a lawsuit filed against the USOC and USA Taekwondo of knowing about “the numerous complaints of rape and sexual assault made by U.S. athletes against the Lopez brothers” and doing nothing. He would later go on to apologize before Congress for the USOC’s failings, but his fingerprints on SafeSport remain. (A USOC statement on the Taekwondo lawsuit did not specifically address any of the allegations.)
The first SafeSport board members included Fran Sepler, who, according to USA Gymnastics, was hired to interview gymnast Maggie Nichols in 2015 about Larry Nassar abusing her under the guise of medical treatment. Sepler told Sports Illustrated that she wasn’t there to do an investigation, just to “conduct interviews.” But USA Gymnastics’ statement about Sepler’s role was more vague, and Nichols’ dad said he was under the impression that Sepler was with law enforcement. Sepler has since left the board.
For the SafeSport center to have a chance, athletes need to believe in its independence.
Still listed as on the board is Megan Ryther, who spent four years on USA Swimming’s board of directors—the same organization that’s still plagued by sex-abuse cases. There’s also film producer Frank Marshall, who says on his own website that he was a member of the USOC for more than a decade. For his work with the USOC, he has an Olympic shield and was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. He also at one point was a board member for USA Gymnastics.
Dozens of pages of meeting minutes from the first two years of the SafeSport board do little to support the claim of independence. They do, however, line up with the idea of SafeSport as a USOC brand created to make parents feel better and make reporters go away. They show an organization—started by the USOC, given orders on what to do by USOC employees, and staffed in key positions with former USOC employees—that talked more about branding, market positioning, and how to handle a media crisis than child abuse or protecting athletes. Like this meeting on March 18, 2016:

The first meeting was held on Jan. 28, 2016, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the USOC is located. Along with the board of directors, six other people attended, according to the meeting minutes. Almost all of them worked for the USOC:
• Malia Arrington, USOC senior director, ethics and SafeSport
• Meredith Yeoman, USOC coordinator, community outreach and communications, ethics, and SafeSport
• Gary L. Johansen, USOC associate general counsel, legal, and SafeSport secretary.
• Stephen Brewer, USOC controller, finance, and SafeSport treasurer
• Chad Sunderland, USOC director of business intelligence, strategic planning
• David P. Kunstle, outside counsel for SafeSport from the law firm of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie
Arrington, the USOC official who said sex abuse had to be handled at the sport level, was the person guiding the SafeSport board as it created the SafeSport center to investigate child abuse. Johansen, the man who said the USOC doesn’t have athletes and dubbed sex abuse a “SafeSport issue,” was there as well.
Over and over again, in the minutes from early meetings, it’s impossible to ignore the influence Arrington had over the very foundation of the SafeSport center. In that first meeting, per the minutes, she is thanked for “getting the organization up and running.” Arrington gives the board a presentation about SafeSport. She goes over NGB and USOC bylaws. There is a discussion of the center’s possible policies done, according to the minutes, “under Malia Arrington’s leadership.”
When the meeting picked up again, the next day, the same USOC people were there, plus more:
• Rick Adams, USOC chief of Paralympic sport and NGB organizational development.
• Scott Blackmun, then-CEO of the USOC
• Blanton Jones, USOC vice president, annual and major gifts, development department
• Martha Johnson, USOC associate director, NGB fundraising development, development division
• Pam Sawyer, managing director USOC human resources department
Outside counsel aside, there was only one person without a USOC title, Paralympic athlete Rudy Garcia-Tolson. And the very first item noted on the minutes was Blackmun telling the board that SafeSport would get a few million from the USOC but, otherwise, “would need a dedicated and focused effort to raise funds in order to execute its mission.”
The very next speaker was Arrington.
For a second day in a row, her name starts many of the action lines described in the meeting minutes. She lays out the factors for SafeSport’s success. She leads a discussion on possible services SafeSport can provide. She tells the board that actually the USOC owns the trademark—true at the time, per federal records—but will transfer it over to this new organization. The motion to have Arrington sign such a licensing agreement passes unanimously.
From there, more USOC people talk. Adams, Jones, and Johnson bring up how to raise money based on their USOC and NGB experience. Sawyer talks about how to look for a CEO. Arrington talks about the struggle to get insurance for the center. The board agrees to keep on Arrington and Yeoman as a loaned CEO (from the USOC) and a loaned community outreach/communication coordinator (from the USOC), with their salaries paid by the USOC through July. And the board agrees that the center—the independent center for the independent investigators that won’t be influenced by the USOC—should be in Colorado, close to the USOC. There’s talk about branding, as Arrington is worried that SafeSport could be construed as having to do with concussions or equipment safety. Near the end, the board decides to break into three working groups: communications and marketing, executive search, and fundraising.
And on the second day, they already were talking about branding.

From there, the USOC’s fingerprints all over SafeSport only grow heavier.
The next meeting, on March 18, 2016, lists almost exclusively USOC people in attendance, outside the board, save for one person—USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny, who is described as speaking about the “challenges that were presented to USA Gymnastics in providing a safe sport environment.”
Arrington dominates the conversation. She talks about the importance of “establishing a sound reputation and gaining stakeholders’ trust.” Arrington tells them that a USOC vice president has agreed to help their fundraising efforts and another USOC person might be willing to serve as a liaison to SafeSport. There’s talk about “draft mission,” a “market strategy,” and “mission statements.” SafeSport, multiple times, is described in the meeting minutes as a “company” and Arrington and the USOC’s Chad Sunderland at one point is described as talking about “organizations that could serve as customers or key partners.”
The second half of the meeting takes places the next day and starts with this discussion:

There’s talk about creating a corporate donor policy, limiting a corporate sponsor to at most 15 percent of the center’s operating budget. No such limit is placed on the USOC. And in this, just the second board meeting, SafeSport’s programs already are seen as funding opportunities:

The meeting minutes do not reflect any prolonged conversation about how to best prevent sex abuse.
The last seven items discussed all start out with talking points from Arrington. They talk about bylaws, standing committees, advisory boards, possible key hires, compensation philosophy, starting a 24-hour hotline, a case-management system, and even where to put the SafeSport offices.
Their next significant meeting is spread across two days in late June 2016. Again, outside of the board members themselves, only USOC people were present. They agree to have their executive search done by Korn Ferry, a search firm that has worked with the USOC before. The executive search committee says it has gotten information from the USOC on “traits that might be useful in USCSS staffing.” Arrington discusses a staffing plan and branding, and the USOC’s Yeoman talks about marketing. The board members talk about the importance “of telling a positive story.”

There is still more talk about fundraising. Arrington reports that she has talked to the NCAA, but no details are given about how that conversation came about or how it went. The USOC’s Steven Brewer is relieved of his position as SafeSport’s treasurer, so that position can be filled with a board member. And even though the center hasn’t even opened its doors, it already has a crisis plan.

At the meeting, the shared services agreement with the USOC is extended through the end of the year. A little more than a month later, the Indianapolis Star publishes its first story detailing how USA Gymnastics ignored decades of reports of abuse by coaches. The board meets by phone weeks later, on Aug. 15; there is no discussion, per the minutes, of that story. They do authorize Arrington to sign a lease on an office for SafeSport in Colorado.
And who gives quotes to reporters a day after the Star story, telling reporters that SafeSport will come to the rescue? Arrington.
Kate Brannen, a SafeSport spokeswoman from PR firm Hill Impact, said the USOC wanted a member of the working group on the center’s staff, and the board chose Arrington. “Her experience and dedication to ending abuse in sport,” she said, “was invaluable in getting us to where we are today. Arrington sent her own response to an email asking for comment, saying that in her deposition in the USA Taekwondo case, “I spoke to the many ways I learned about important aspects of sexual assault over the years (and have since published in this area); unfortunately, a sliver of what I said was misused, sensationalized, and has since been carelessly repeated as if it is fact. I am not going to engage in a back and forth over personal attacks. To do so would distract from the important work of ending sexual abuse in sport and developing a culture that champions respect.”
The meetings continue like this. In September, a month after the Star story’s publication, the meeting minutes still show exclusively USOC people in attendance. Arrington is still the person presenting information to the board and guiding NGBs on the possible changes coming up. There is no mention of the Star story in the minutes. But there is the first mention of an “operational readiness plan,” with a start date of Jan. 1, 2017, and the board talks about “the need for an approved plan to guide [SafeSport’s] public and media relations.”
Again, the USOC is offered as a place for advice on fundraising, with board member Dr. Angelo Giordano saying one USOC vice president, Christine Walsh, “would be available to offer advice as to fundraising efforts.” There is discussion of making an offer to a candidate for CEO, but the meeting minutes don’t give a name.
On Dec. 9, 2016, the board thanks Arrington for her service as they welcome Shellie Pfohl as their CEO. But Arrington stays on, moving to the COO role. The tax records for SafeSport from 2016 say her “reportable compensation from related organizations” was $210,129 plus another $15,706 in “other compensation.”
In the first meeting of 2017, Arrington—the longtime USOC employee who helped build SafeSport and then became a SafeSport employee—brings up concerns about conflicts of interest. She suggests a two-year waiting period before an investigator from an Olympic or Paralympic organization can work for the organization. There is a great deal of talk about fundraising, and Pfohl brings up the idea of relationships with American sports leagues as well as “rebranding” SafeSport training and educational materials.
That March meeting is the first one where the guest list includes people who don’t have USOC titles. And while the center still has not opened its doors, there is another discussion about how to handle the media.

Board members get another media update at the next meeting, in June of 2017:

In late 2017, the USOC people largely fade away from the SafeSport board meeting minutes, and the minutes get shorter. There were no minutes from 2018 published on the SafeSport website. But the foundation had been laid—by people paid by the USOC.
When asked how they reconciled their independence with what the meeting minutes showed, SafeSport public relations provided this statement: “The Center’s history is something that we’ve been very transparent about and it’s well established that it was originally chartered by the USOC. Its independence comes from its governance, independent board of directors and bylaws. This is similar to the way the USOC initially established USADA, which today is an independent entity.” (Less than one-fifth of USADA’s budget comes from the USOC.)
Conflicts of interest have long been a concern for critics of SafeSport. Even before the center opened its doors, Hogshead-Makar, CEO of ChampionWomen, and Marci Hamilton, CEO of Child USA and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, had sent multiple letters critiquing the proposed SafeSport code that the center would be in charge of enforcing. They went back and forth on several issues, including whether coaches should be allowed to be alone with children, who was covered by the SafeSport code, and how the organization could guarantee its independence. They mentioned this in their third letter:

Hamilton said she doesn’t hold out much hope for what SafeSport can accomplish, and has even less hope than when she wrote those letters. She is still concerned by how SafeSport works, especially the lack of transparency in what it finds, because it means nobody but a select few people will ever know how systemic the issue within the Olympic community truly is. Without that type of transparency, Hamilton said, “you can’t get the poison out of the system.”
“The more I think about it, the more I think this is just not the way we get to where we need to be,” she said, “which is maximum transparency and maximum justice.”
So what does the SafeSport center actually do? According to its own code, it has exclusive authority to investigate sexual misconduct and other conduct prohibited by the code that “is reasonably related to the underlying allegation of sexual misconduct.” That’s it. It cannot investigate bullying or hazing or emotional abuse or physical abuse or essentially any form of abuse, outside of sexual abuse. All those other forms of abuse? They are the province of the NGBs—hardly an encouraging thought for anyone considering reporting abuse given the track records of multiple NGBs.
This structure also ignores how much of the Olympic system happens beyond the official confines of the NGBs, in private clubs, leagues, and teams.

According to its guidelines, the only way the SafeSport center can take on an investigation that isn’t connected to sexual misconduct is if it receives a written request from an NGB or USOC. Even then, any action would be at the center’s discretion. And there are many more gaps that SafeSport simply can’t fill. It has no jurisdiction over NCAA sports. It doesn’t have jurisdiction over who owns a private sports club. It can’t ban a person from showing up at private events, which already has become an issue with banned volleyball coach Rick Butler. And it can’t stop individual parents from waiving concerns aside because they want their kid to win.
Operating perfectly, SafeSport will, by design, at best handle a fraction of abuse cases, while standing at a remove from some of the central elements of Olympic sports. As is, SafeSport is not set up to operate perfectly.
In her deposition, Arrington went over how much of the Olympic movement, by design, is beyond their control (the questions are from attorney John Little):
After some objections from a USOC lawyer, Arrington gives another answer on the topic.
So, from the outset, the SafeSport center is, at best, limited. What is will be excellent at, though, is keeping the details of horrifying sexual abuse at the highest levels of Olympic sport out of the court system—where depositions like Arrington’s can happen and become public.
“If they can head off the civil lawsuits,” lawyer Stephen Estey told me, “they’re never going to make any real, substantial change.”
When Deadspin emailed SafeSport using the supplied media contact information, the responses came from Dan Hill and Kate Brannen of SafeSport’s PR firm, Hill Impact. Hill said that about 19 percent of SafeSport’s investigations are done by contract investigators. The names of the investigators would not be provided but their background, he said, was in “law enforcement, legal and investigations. Some come from Title IX.” They are not allowed to have worked previously for an NGB or the USOC, he said. In a separate email, Brannen said that the average investigator has 10 to 15 years experience on sexual-assault cases.
But here’s what the backgrounds of people who say they work for SafeSport shows: Pfohl doesn’t come from a child welfare background. All her previous jobs have to do with encouraging eating healthy and physical fitness among children; her most recent role was as executive director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Asked why Pfohl was selected despite her lack of experience working with victims of abuse, Brannen responded that she “is a more than capable, hard-working executive with significant experience in the nonprofit sector and the development of sport-related programs for youth.
Then there’s SafeSport’s former director of legal affairs, whose title was changed to director of investigations and outcomes shortly before Deadspin inquired about his background. Michael Henry says on his LinkedIn profile that he finished law school in 2012 at Texas Tech. He spent a few years doing Title IX work at Texas Tech, then joined a prominent Title IX consulting group, NCHERM, before taking over at SafeSport. Until at least June of this year, records show he was called the group’s “legal affairs director,” which sure makes him sound like a lawyer. He’s referred to with that title, sourced to his LinkedIn page, in an Irv Muchnick blog post earlier this year in which Muchnick referred to him as the “chief lawyer for the agency.”
“Legal affairs director”—is also how ZoomInfo catalogued Henry’s business information. And in a letter Henry sent, dated June 5 of this year, he signed it as“legal affairs director.” The letter was an exhibit filed in Richard Callaghan’s lawsuit against SafeSport to stop his interim suspension for sexual misconduct. Here’s the top of the letter:
And here’s the bottom, with his title:

Henry, though, isn’t a practicing lawyer. Deadspin asked SafeSport for the bar number and issuing state for Henry. SafeSport responded that Henry never took the bar and was never the general counsel, and that his title was “director of investigations and outcomes.”
In response to follow-up questions about why his title had changed, SafeSport responded that the center knew that he wasn’t a lawyer when he was hired and the title change was due to a recent reorganization in which the center hired a “chief of response and resolution,” to whom Henry reports. That new employee, W. Scott Lewis, was announced via press release on July 5. Lewis also came from prominent Title IX consultants NCHERM.
Deadspin also found one woman who publicly identifies as a SafeSport investigator on LinkedIn and, as with Henry, has experience only at the collegiate level. She says that she did Title IX work at the University of Hawaii for about three years and, before that, worked at the University of Phoenix. One of SafeSport’s contract investigators also was named through her emails to the lawyer for Callaghan. The investigator in that case is another Title IX lawyer, Kathryn “Kai” McGintee, with Maine law firm Bernstein Shur’s Labor and Employment Practice Group and Education Practice Group. McGintee has been quoted as a Title IX expert in the past, and her name is mostly comes up with her sexual-assault investigations at Phillips Exeter Academy, which parents sued over how the elite prep school handled reports of sexual assault.
Hill, responding on behalf of SafeSport said he couldn’t set up an interview with Pfohl within Deadspin’s timeframe, but did offer to set up an interview with Katie Hanna, director of education and outreach for SafeSport. With a member of the group’s PR team on the call, Hanna talked about her plans for the educational component of SafeSport. The current staff is extremely small, just a few people, and their budget is $1.5 million.
Overall, Hanna—who has a background in working to end sexual violence—sounded extremely positive. She talked about creating “a learning community” where peers and coaches teach each other best practices and reaching out to coaches who wanted to be part of the change. She said, “There are so many coaches who are working to end abuse in sports.” And several NGBs, she said, had indicated they wanted to go above and beyond what SafeSport required. So far, they had consulted with Coaching Boys Into Men and Athletes As Leaders for guidance on building positive environments.
“So much about what works in prevention is having ongoing assistance and training to make sure it’s effective,” she said.
Asked what she could do about NGBs, like USA Swimming, that have been called out for having poor or even dangerous SafeSport materials, Hanna said, “We will provide best practices to NGBs.” The SafeSport center does have the authority to do random audits of NGBs to see if they are in compliance with the SafeSport code, and can issue consequences if they are not, but those consequences hadn’t been finalized when we spoke.
“If they can head off the civil lawsuits, they’re never going to make any real, substantial change.”
Asked about the sheer size and demand of what they were being asked to do—end sex abuse in sports—and with so few resources, Hanna answered with the positivity common to people who provide perpetually underfunded services for women and children. “We’re up for the task,” she said.
SafeSport’s recent hires surely want to do good work. But can they make a difference? Pfohl’s testimony before Congress last month showed how overworked they are. Between the time the center opened in March 2017 and April of this year, the group received more than 800 complaints, covering 38 out of the close to 50 NGBs. As of June, SafeSport had 14 employees: five full-time investigators, nine staff that work in other areas, and seven “external, contracted investigators. (Pfohl insisted these investigators were qualified, although she would not go into many detail about what made them so.) The entire budget, she said, is “a little more than $4.6 million.” When asked if this is enough money and people to investigate every complaint thoroughly, Pfohl quickly replied, “No.” (Since that interview, SafeSport has hired a chief of response and resolution, and have posted five job openings.)
The lack of funding isn’t new, even if members of Congress act surprised in front of the cameras. From the Colorado Springs Gazette in April 2017:
In a March interview, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said the delay in opening SafeSport was primarily financial. The USOC will provide $10 million to fund SafeSport’s first five years of operation.
Raising those funds was challenging.
“We thought we would be able to raise financial support for this program faster than we were able to,” Blackmun said.
Pfohl brings up the delay question without being asked.
“Gosh,” she said, “we all wish it would have happened faster.”
Those limited dollars explain why Pfohl had to give answers like this, when asked about how SafeSport will be able to audit how it is doing. “I would say,” Pfohl said, before taking a long pause, “our resources are limited in that area in terms of self-audits, if you will. But our goal, and I know it is a high priority for our board, we will find the resources to be able to do it.”
Since then, SafeSport says it has received more than 1,000 complaints. Brannen said the center had issued almost 300 sanctions and made more than 149 individuals permanently ineligible.
The money SafeSport does have comes largely from organizations it is tasked with policing or that have relationships with the Olympic movement. The center itself didn’t have its own tax returns, known as 990s, until 2016, when it reported having less than $1 million in net assets and $1.5 million in revenue. Most of that—$1.07 million—came from “related organizations,” meaning the USOC, which said on its own tax return that it gave SafeSport $1.07 million that year for “furthering Olympic and Paralympic support.” SafeSport also gets money from the NGBs, although those figures are much smaller. USA Swimming president and CEO Tim Hinchey, for instance, told Congress that his organization, which is one of the larger NGBs, gave about $43,000 a year.
Public records don’t yet detail how much the USOC has given SafeSport more recently. SafeSport’s website, though, lists their sponsors: two Olympic organizations; the NBA and WNBA, which work with the Olympics; ESPN, which has Olympic ties too; and NBC, the network that broadcasts the Olympics. It’s difficult to understand how SafeSport can be considered independent—no matter how many times Pfohl and told Congress, “I don’t answer to anyone at the USOC”—when so many organizations that benefit from the Olympics are cutting the checks.

It didn’t have to be this way. One version of the United States Center for Safe Sport Authorization Act, filed by Sen. Bill Nelson and Sen. John Thune in 2017, included a provision to give SafeSport $1 million each year. That’s not nearly enough to cover everything, but such a setup would at least represent a start. The final version of the bill, which passed earlier this year, contained no language about how to fund SafeSport, forcing the organization that’s supposed to make millions of children across America safer to go out and find its own cash. So while members of Congress go through hearing after hearing worrying about SafeSports’ conflict of interest, they leave how they themselves contributed to it.
Deadspin asked spokesmen for Nelson, Thune, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein why appropriations were left out of the bill; a member of the Commerce committee staff responded to the inquiries by saying the funding language ended up getting replaced with a “DOJ competitive grant included/funded in the omnibus.”
That grant, according to the bill that passed, is for $2.5 million, while the 34-page solicitation puts it at about $2.2 million. The SafeSport Center, in theory, is a lock for the funds because the program is earmarked for “an eligible nonprofit nongovernmental entity in order to support oversight of the United States Olympic Committee, each national governing body, and each Paralympic sports organization with regard to safeguarding amateur athletes against abuse, including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in sports.” But they still have to apply. And wait.
What about in the coming years, especially after 2022, the last year mentioned in the funding bill? Will there be more grants? That is up to Congress, the organization that created the USOC and its entire system of buck-passing.
Given the distinction between the SafeSport center and SafeSport as a program, most of what SafeSport is and does will, ultimately, take place at the sport level. And as anyone who’s read coverage of NGBs like USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, USA Taekwondo, or USA Diving over the last year and a half knows, this is an issue. These are the very bodies that have failed to act on, or acted to cover up, reports of abuse.
“Right now, all the power resides with what some people refer to as the suits—the administrators and the Karolyis—and none of the power resides with the athletes,” Hogshead-Makar said. “It’s a zero-sum game. So how do you move it from them to the athlete?”
It’s hard to know where to begin with the list of problems that make that movement so difficult: the lack of oversight of coaches; the incomplete lists of banned coaches; and the lack of significant change at many NGBs, where a leader can easily survive a sexual-abuse scandal, are among the most serious. Perhaps unsurprisingly, even the very people hired to execute SafeSport at the NGB level can raise red flags.
“I have a huge problem with how most NGBs hire people to work in SafeSport, and that is they don’t hire people from outside sports. They hire marketing people,” Hogshead-Makar said.
A visit to several NGB’s SafeSport websites shows most are bland collections of graphics, brochures, and hotline numbers. One of the more robust online programs belongs to the sport that started SafeSport and one of the largest NGBs: USA Swimming, where it’s already been called a farce and a sham. Swimming promoted Susan Woessner to oversee SafeSport, even though her prior job had been in business operations; she resigned after the Orange County Register reported that she had kissed a coach accused of sexual abuse. Think Progress dove through USA Swimming’s SafeSport materials and found plenty of troubling messages, like one exercise that said, “It’s coaches’ jobs to care about you!”
And the downright glibness of the SafeSport Activity Book, a coloring book that USA Swimming puts out quarterly, shows SafeSport at its conceptual worst, functioning as literal public relations. (According to the website, the coloring book is meant to start conversations about “all the reasons to love the sport of swimming.”) Let’s go through the most recent issue.

The coloring book adventure concludes with our guides sending us off, saying we are ready to be SafeSport champions.
Bostick, the former swimmer who came forward about her abuse, has expressed her concerns to USA Swimming about these materials as well their program overall. When people see the logo for USA Swimming, Bostick says, they “think this is someone who will help me be healthy, someone I can trust. This isn’t someone in a broken-down van with a puppy offering you candy. It inspires trust.” (USA Swimming did not respond to requests for comment.)
Add to that the power of a catchy brand, like SafeSport: “When you see SafeSport, you are going to assume it’s the best material out there in terms of athlete safety and prevention,” Bostick said. “Instead, it’s terrible. It’s a marketing arm of USA Swimming, but with people’s lives on the line.”
Or look at USA Gymnastics, another one of the largest NGBs. Its president, Kathy Perry, recently spoke at a regional gymnastics meeting, and the full audio was aired by the podcast GymCastic. Perry talks about exercises to describe what words best describe their core values. She says “empowerment” a lot, plus “safety” and “culture” and “SafeSport.” Perry hits every buzzword that’s expected. It all sounds good, but it’s difficult to point to anything concrete substance beyond the expected marketing speak.

USA Gymnastics President Assures Membership That Everything Is In Chaos And The Situation Is Excelle...

Kerry Perry hasn’t sat down for any media interviews since coming on as president and CEO of USA…
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“We’re not here today to tear down the sporting world,” said U.S. Rep. Diana L. DeGette, whose district includes the SafeSport center, during one of the many recent rounds of Congressional testimony.
That is part of the problem. Ending child abuse both within and beyond sports is about tearing things down, and about remaking the world. Hamilton, who has studied child abuse across multiple institutions, wrote last year on what she has learned from seeing the same crimes committed over and over again in different institutions, different states, and different walks of life but always with the same horrifying details “because child sex abuse is as old as humankind and just as entrenched.”
This tectonic shift cannot happen when discrete organizations are left to their own devices, no matter how good their intentions, because unaccountable organizations (and that is what an organization governing itself is) will devolve into scenarios of self-protection and adult preferentialism. The law has set up organizations to these ends, actually: The boards of directors have fiduciary obligations to the organization, the leadership is awarded for its success for the organization, and the fans of the organizations have an insatiable appetite for its public achievements. When you add to that the ingrained tendency of adults to put adult interests like reputation and career ahead of children, the result is that children continue to be institutionally incapable of overcoming these biases against protection.
Instead, America has been given SafeSport.
It is, in some ways, a distinctly American creation—born from the rib of a marketing agency, given a gargantuan task, forced to figure things out on the fly with little oversight, and to pay for itself. It’s not surprising that SafeSport is underfunded and overworked, that it may employ people who are under-qualified, or that it has been heavily influenced by people who appear to care more about trademarks and preventing lawsuits than protecting children. You could apply the same observations to plenty of child welfare agencies across America. What’s surprising is that anyone thinks SafeSport will somehow turn out different than every other attempt to help children.
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SafeSport, as currently constructed, will not accomplish its lofty goal, but it will make for great marketing. Give the lawyers a good phrase to say—something cleaner than “sexual assault” or “rape” or “abuse”—and trot out all the usual people to insist that there’s nothing to see here, that their handpicked people will take care of it just like they always have, and you can get away with a lot. Given the USOC’s own history, there’s no reason to think this was ever about anything else. ... 1826279217

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USOPC says SafeSport is the appropriate organization to investigate allegations against Bowman.

Post by greybeard58 » Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:10 pm

USOPC says SafeSport is the appropriate organization to investigate allegations against Bowman.

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has rejected an American think tank’s request to suspend Stan Bowman from his position as general manager of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team while he faces allegations that he helped cover up the sexual abuse of two Chicago Blackhawks players.
In an email to TSN on Tuesday, USOPC spokesman Jon Mason wrote the U.S. Center for SafeSport is the appropriate organization to investigate allegations against Bowman.
“The U.S. Center for SafeSport was created as an independent organization dedicated to receiving and investigating reports of sexual misconduct and harassment, and emotional and physical abuse within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements,” Mason wrote. “The Center has the exclusive jurisdiction over participants, and to investigate and resolve allegations involving child abuse or sexual misconduct, including failure to report such allegations.”
Mason refused to say whether the USOPC would consult with the center for SafeSport about the request made on Sept. 10 by Marci Hamilton, founder of the advocacy group Child USA, to suspend Bowman from his position with USA Hockey.
“At this point, I’ll have to direct you to the center for any additional information,” Mason wrote.
Hamilton had asked the USOPC to commission an independent investigation into Bowman’s behaviour as GM of the Blackhawks.
In a text message to TSN on Wednesday, Hamilton wrote she is awaiting an official response to her request from USOPC.
“SafeSport doesn’t select the summer and winter Olympic coaches and SafeSport has an opaque, slow and ineffective system,” Hamilton wrote. “That’s USOPC once again avoiding its own responsibility for athlete safety and for the sex abuse that runs through athletics.”
Hamilton’s letter recounted allegations made against Bowman and his Blackhawks management colleagues in a pair of lawsuits filed earlier this year in Chicago against the team.
One lawsuit, filed by a former Blackhawks player referred to as “John Doe 1” in court documents, alleges that after the team’s management was informed that former video coach Brad Aldrich had allegedly sexually assaulted two players during the 2009-10 season, the team allowed him to remain employed through the end of that season, and refused to report the allegations to police.
A second lawsuit filed by a former high school hockey player in Houghton, Mich., who is referred to as “John Doe 2” in court documents, alleges that the Blackhawks gave Aldrich a positive job reference that allowed him to secure positions within the hockey department of Miami University in Ohio and later as a high school coach in Houghton, where in 2013 he was convicted of sexually assaulting the then-16-year-old player.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport is aware of the Blackhawks scandal. In June, an intake coordinator for SafeSport contacted a lawyer for John Does 1 and 2 to inform her that the centre had received a report concerning Bowman’s alleged misconduct that her client, the former Blackhawks player, may have witnessed, or personally experienced.
It’s unclear whether the centre has officially opened an investigation.
The Blackhawks have claimed in court documents that the team investigated the allegations and found them to be meritless. The team said in a court filing on Friday that the former Blackhawks player’s lawsuit should be dismissed because of limitation periods, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The Blackhawks also said the former high school player’s lawsuit should be dismissed because there was a lack of evidence to support the claim the team provided Aldrich with a job reference, The Sun-Times reported. The newspaper reported that the team has asked the former high school player’s attorney to withdraw that lawsuit.
With media scrutiny over the scandal increasing, the Blackhawks in June hired Chicago lawyer Reid Schar to look into the claims. The Blackhawks say the investigation is independent and that they will make Schar’s findings public. The National Hockey League has said it's awaiting the results of Schar’s investigation before taking any possible action.
“This investigation is not neutral,” Hamilton wrote in her letter to the USOPC. “A truly independent investigation cannot be funded by the organization whose executives reportedly covered up Aldrich’s abuse. Miami University has opened an internal investigation, but the scope is limited to the four months he was employed at the University.
“Bowman is still the general manager of the Blackhawks and earlier this year he was appointed as the general manager of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team for the 2022 Beijing Games. How could Bowman, who has been publicly accused of covering up the abuse of a serial predator, be allowed to lead USA Hockey and represent our country at the international level?”
Hamilton’s three-page letter was also sent to U.S. senators Richard Blumenthal and Jerry Moran.
Blumenthal and Moran led an 18-month investigation into systemic abuse within the U.S. Olympic movement and advocated for the passage of the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act, which was passed in October 2020 and imposed reforms in the Olympic world, forcing more oversight of the coaches and executives who control the sports.
The act permits Congress to dissolve the board of directors of the Olympic committee and to decertify offending national governing bodies.
USOPC rebuffs request to suspend Bowman
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Steve Penny's Silence Allegedly Allowed Larry Nassar to Abuse More Girls

Post by greybeard58 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:39 pm

Steve Penny's Silence Allegedly Allowed Larry Nassar to Abuse More Girls
JUN. 24 2020, UPDATED 1:34 P.M. ET

On June 24, Netflix released its latest documentary, Athlete A, which follows the team of investigative journalists who exposed USA Gymnastics (USAG) physician Larry Nassar’s long history of sexually abusing young females in his care.

The 56-year-old has been accused of molesting at least 250 girls, many of whom were underage when the assaults occurred — but Nassar isn’t the only villain in this story. Steve Penny, who served as the president and CEO of USAG for nearly 12 years, allegedly covered up the extent of the doctor’s crimes for over a year.

Where is former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny now?
The disgraced sports administrator is currently awaiting trial in Huntsville, Texas on a third-degree felony evidence tampering charge. He was arrested in October 2018, more than a year-and-a-half after he resigned from his position in USAG’s governing body, for allegedly ordering the removal of documents pertaining to Nassar.

According to former USAG Senior Vice President Rhonda Faehn, Penny instructed National Teams Manager Amy White to pick up several boxes of medical records from Karolyi Ranch, the team’s training center, in November 2016 — two months after Nassar was fired from his faculty position at Michigan State University.

The documents taken from the ranch reportedly contained sensitive information about Nassar and his treatment of athletes. If convicted of evidence tampering, Penny — who has pleaded not guilty and is out on $20,000 bail — faces two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Court documents state that Penny first learned of Nassar’s crimes in June of 2015 when U.S. national team member Maggie Nichols told her coach about the sexual abuse she endured.

However, the CEO kept the allegations quiet until September 2016, reportedly allowing 40 young girls to be molested by Nassar during that period. Penny was permanently banned from USAG following his arrest.

Despite his firing, USAG is still trying to protect Steve Penny.
In February, USAG proposed a $217 million settlement, which would award Nassar’s victims one of four different sums based on the location of their assaults:

$1,250,757 for gymnasts abused at the Olympics, Worlds, national team training camps, or other national team events.
$508,670 for non-elite gymnasts abused at USAG-sanctioned events.
$174,401 for gymnasts abused at non-USAG locations.
$82,550 for individuals with "derivative claims."
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The settlement would also release Penny, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and former national team directors Bela and Martha Karolyi from all claims filed against them.

John Manly, an attorney representing dozens of Nassar’s accusers, expressed outrage over the suggested agreement. "What [USAG] is saying [is] if we place a known pedophile in that gym and that individual rapes your child, then your child is worth $82,000," he stated.

"This is the most disgusting, reprehensible, vile view of children I can imagine," he added. "Steve Penny was so bad USA Gymnastics banned him for life, the Karolyis, every one of them, and they pay nothing. They have no consequences. What message does that send to the next Steve Penny?"

We sincerely hope that these brave survivors receive the justice they deserve. ... astics-now


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McKayla Maroney U.S. Senate testimony

Post by greybeard58 » Wed Sep 22, 2021 6:02 pm

Content warning: The following u-tube video contains material that maybe harmful or traumatizing to some audiences!

McKayla Maroney U.S. Senate testimony

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Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:40 pm

Here is the link to the Darkness to Light

Post by greybeard58 » Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:56 pm

Here is the link to the Darkness to Light: Child Sexual Abuse | Sexual Abuse Prevention | Darkness to Light - Darkness to Light
September 14, 2021
| By Darkness to Light
Categories: Child Sexual Abuse Survivors, Guides, News and Events
| Tags: Aly Raisman, Flip the Switch, Survivor Stories, Viewing Guide
Champion gymnast and Darkness to Light partner Aly Raisman will premiere a three-hour documentary special, Aly Raisman: Darkness to Light, on September 24 at 8p/7c on Lifetime.

This special reveals the tumultuous journey to healing from the perspective of sexual abuse survivors, following the three-time Olympic gold medalist as she advocates for survivors while sharing personal accounts and coping strategies that have helped on her own journey of healing.
Raisman meets with individuals who have suffered abuse, revealing the trauma that lasts from childhood to adulthood, and the triggers that affect them – and her – physically and emotionally. By sharing their stories and insights gleaned along the way, their experiences are validated, and survivors are reminded that they are never alone in their journey and that there is hope.
“The inspiration behind this project is to show support for survivors and let them know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Raisman. “Our society has a long history of enabling abusers instead of supporting survivors and this is a huge problem. I hope people will tune in to learn some tools to recognize and help prevent abuse, and understand just how important it is to believe and support survivors. And for all the survivors out there, please know that you are not alone, you will not feel like this forever, and that there is hope.”
Raisman addressed her abuser, Larry Nassar, in a Michigan courtroom in January 2018, rallying other survivors to step forward and demand justice and accountability. Her voice helped set off a tectonic shift, exposing the pervasive system of abuse and enabling that has harmed America’s youth. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year federal prison sentence following his conviction on multiple charges of sexual assault.

Aly Raisman: Darkness to Light explores one of the largest child sexual abuse cases in the country where a beloved community pediatrician abused several generations of children and showcases the aftermath for the survivors in Johnstown, PA, follows conversations with a male survivor of the Ohio State abuse scandal, and details how disabled and transgender communities can be specific targets of abuse.
In addition, the special features an exclusive conversation with meToo founder Tarana Burke, in depth information from experts from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) and the nonprofit Darkness to Light, whose mission is to empower adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Aly Raisman: Darkness to Light closes with a roundtable discussion with experts and advocates–including Raisman, Anton Gunn (Darkness to Light Board Member, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama and the world’s leading authority on Socially Conscious Leadership) and Rachael Denhollander (attorney, author, and sexual abuse advocate)–on how to help prevent child sexual abuse while providing tools on how to move forward.
Child sexual abuse can be a tough subject to face, but there is good news: now that you know the truth what your kids or friends could be facing, you have the chance to be a changemaker. Your response could make all the difference for someone going through a tough time!

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In Larry Nassar’s shadow, a larger sex abuse case at the University of Michigan

Post by greybeard58 » Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:02 pm

In Larry Nassar’s shadow, a larger sex abuse case at the University of Michigan

Lenny Bernstein
Today at 8:00 a.m. EDT

U.S. senators listened intently last week as four world-class gymnasts told Congress of the harrowing impact of sexual abuse by former Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar.
When the testimony was done, they lauded the women’s courage. The director of the FBI, also at the hearing, apologized for his agency’s shoddy investigation.
“I’m especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed,” FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols. “And that is inexcusable.”
Sixty miles from Nassar’s one time office, a similar but much larger case of sex abuse is playing out with little of the same attention. More than 950 people have come forward to accuse the late University of Michigan doctor Robert E. Anderson of abusing them while he was on staff between 1966 and 2003, according to lawyers who represent the survivors.
That total surpasses the scale of the molestation at Michigan State, as well as similar incidents at the University of Southern California and Ohio State University. Attorneys for the University of Michigan survivors contend the allegations against Anderson constitute the largest example of sexual exploitation by one person in U.S. history.
A number of Anderson’s alleged victims, most prominently former football players, have publicly told stories of the physician fondling them and repeatedly performing unnecessary rectal and genital exams during their years at the school. As a result, his conduct over decades as the football team doctor has drawn the most attention since the story broke in February 2020, a dozen years after his death.
But the small group of attorneys bringing the case said they also have claims spanning decades from athletes on the wrestling, basketball, track and field, hockey, swimming and tennis teams. Pilots and air traffic controllers have accused Anderson of abuse during physicals he conducted in his private practice for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Anderson, who died in 2008 without facing charges, also allegedly molested nonathlete students as a physician for the university’s health service; men who sought Vietnam War draft deferments by claiming to be gay; the estranged son of iconic football coach Bo Schembechler, who said he was violated when his father sent him to Anderson for a sports physical at the age of 10; and a former chairman of the university’s Board of Regents, who was a student at Michigan in the 1960s, according to investigative reports and public statements from survivors.
The vast majority of survivors are men, but Anderson also is accused of abusing women, including a player on the first Michigan women’s varsity tennis team in 1973, who has spoken publicly.
In public accounts and two investigative reports, the survivors said they complained to coaches, trainers and administrators, and nothing was ever done. The Washington Post contacted each of the named victims in this story or their lawyers and all affirmed their accounts.
“The university knew, the enabler, the institution — not one time, not 10 times, but knew for decades,” said Mick Grewal, who said he represents about 250 people who have reported abuse by Anderson. “ . . . How can you know this and not report this to law enforcement?”
The university has apologized for the pain survivors suffered and is in mediated talks with their attorneys about how to compensate them. It also has instituted a number of reforms aimed at preventing future abuse.
One factor that unites Anderson with Nassar and other doctors accused of abusing people on college campuses, lawyers and an expert said, is the easy access they had to a large number of young and powerless people.
“Medicine is unique among professions in that every physician has the right to say, ‘Please undress, we’re going to be alone in a room together and I’m going to touch you’,” said James DuBois, director of the Bioethics Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis, who has conducted one of the few recent reviews of physicians who commit sexual abuse. “Every physician has the means to abuse that other professionals do not.”
Such abusers prey on people they believe are least likely to report, lawyers said, including athletes required to have physical exams to keep their spots on a team.
“You’re at a very powerful institution, away from home, required to see a prominent doctor, first of your family to go to college, you’re probably under scholarship, and this doctor was able to have his way with you,” said Parker Stinar, an attorney who said he and his colleagues represent more than 200 claimants.
Other students were on their own for the first time in a place that had promised to meet their medical needs.
One woman who alleged she was abused by Anderson when she was a freshman in the 1970s said she had been through a “quasi-legal abortion” after she was raped by an acquaintance during high school and told Anderson about it at the exam.
“He knew two things instantly from my story,” said the woman, who asked that her name be withheld. “I had no idea what rape was and . . . I had no one in the world to take care of me.” The Post generally does not name victims of sexual abuse without their consent.
Robert E. Anderson in the 1970s. (Robert Kalmbach)
Now the survivors of Anderson’s attacks are focused mainly on two issues: Who in the administration of one of the top U.S. public universities allowed Anderson’s conduct to continue for nearly four decades? And how will the school, which has acknowledged his behavior, resolve their claims?
Beyond a financial settlement now under mediation, some survivors want an apology, evidence of culture change, and possibly money for research dedicated to preventing sexual abuse by others.
In response to written questions, university spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said in an email that “we offer sympathy to all of the victims of the late Dr. Robert Anderson. We thank them for their bravery in coming forward. We have repeatedly apologized for the pain they have suffered, and we remain committed to resolving their claims through the court-guided, confidential mediation process that is ongoing.”
Neither side would discuss the mediation between attorneys for the survivors and university lawyers, which is being overseen by a federal judge.
On July 15, Michigan announced “sweeping revisions” to its approach to sexual misconduct, including “the creation of a new unit focused on care, education and prevention, in addition to investigations; a cultural change journey; new policies that prohibit supervisors from engaging in romantic relationships with those they may supervise; and other changes” to university policy, Fitzgerald said.
Two investigations released over the past 19 months — one by a university detective and another by the law firm WilmerHale, which was hired by the school but given free rein in its review — as well as the public firsthand accounts provide strong evidence that school officials were repeatedly alerted to Anderson beginning in the late 1960s.

At least four people claim they personally complained to Schembechler — the late coach immortalized by a larger-than-life statue outside the university’s football headquarters — among them his estranged son, Matt. Others said Don Canham, the athletic director who, with Schembechler, built the modern Michigan football program into an athletic and economic powerhouse, was also made aware. Canham is also dead.
One administrator told investigators he walked into Anderson’s office in 1979 and fired him after hearing accounts of his conduct. But records show Anderson never left the university’s employ. The discrepancy remains unexplained. The administrator died in February.
On team after team over nearly four decades, Anderson’s behavior was so widely known and openly discussed that the WilmerHale report called athletes’ trepidation “an open secret, or perhaps no secret at all.” Nicknames for Anderson abounded, including “Handy Andy” and “Dr. Drop Your Drawers Anderson,” the report noted.
The Schembechler and Canham families defended the now-deceased athletic officials, saying neither knew about the doctor’s behavior.

Members of Schembechler’s family said in a statement that “Bo had a clear and compelling sense of right and wrong: he would not have tolerated misconduct, especially toward any of his players, family members, coaches or to anyone associated with the University of Michigan’s football program. If Bo had known of inappropriate conduct, we are certain that he would have stopped it immediately, reported it, and had Dr. Anderson removed from the University.”
The Canham family said in a separate statement that Don Canham “sent many of his family members to Dr. Anderson without reservation — something he would not have done had he been aware of the allegations. It is our belief that, had Don known of any allegations of improper conduct, he would have investigated them fully and taken all appropriate action to protect the student athletes to whom he dedicated his life and career.”
Anderson remained a university physician — while also at times maintaining a private practice in town and training young doctors from Michigan’s medical school — until he retired in 2003, five years before he died.
There were “people with authority at various levels, up to the highest levels in some of these institutions, who knew and covered up and failed to protect,” said David Share, a physician and retired executive for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, who has accused Anderson of abuse.
Now 70, Share said Anderson assaulted him shortly after he arrived as a freshman at Michigan in 1968, when he went to the student health service complaining of a sore throat. He became somewhat withdrawn that year, he said, and suffered psychological problems for decades.
“It’s really important to understand how large, powerful, moneyed institutions behave, for good and for bad, how they go astray, and how people are harmed,” Share said.

Survivors tell their stories

In February 2020, the Detroit News asked the university about a claim of sexual abuse against Anderson that dated to 1971. The accusation came from former Michigan student Robert Stone. Prompted by reports of sexual assault by Nassar, Stone told the newspaper, he had reported Anderson to the university in the summer of 2019, but was stonewalled when he sought to learn what had been done. That’s when he brought his story to the newspaper.
Within hours of receiving the inquiry, university officials told the newspaper that a campus detective had conducted a secret, exhaustive investigation of Anderson that began in 2018, based on a tip to the athletic department from former Michigan wrestler Tad DeLuca.
Although the investigation turned up account after account of Anderson’s alleged abuses, county prosecutors had determined that no charges could be brought because of time limits on prosecution set by the law at the time. Victoria Burton-Harris, the county’s chief assistant prosecutor, said the decision was made by a previous administration, but if new evidence is brought to her office about criminal sexual conduct, it would be reviewed. Steven Hiller, who held the job when the decision was made, declined to comment.
The university put out a call for complaints of abuse by Anderson after revealing the investigation. Over the next 18 months, reports — most private but some eventually very public — poured in. Lawsuits followed.

Tad DeLuca, who was on the University of Michigan wrestling team in the 1970s, speaks during a 2020 news conference at which he identified himself as the whistleblower in the Anderson case. (Carlos Osorio/AP)
DeLuca, for example, detailed his 10-page letter to his wrestling coach, written in 1975, which complained of the multiple “genital, hernia, and prostate examinations” he received from Anderson when he sought treatment for cold sores and a dislocated elbow. The letter was forwarded to Canham, according to the WilmerHale report and DeLuca’s own public comments. DeLuca was booted from the team over ongoing conflict about his injuries and stripped of his scholarship before he hired a lawyer and won it back.

Chuck Christian, a Michigan football player in the late 1970s and early 1980s, filed a lawsuit in May 2020, contending that Anderson subjected him to painful rectal exams during his physicals. For many years, he avoided prostate exams until symptoms forced him to take one in his 50s, he said. He now has terminal prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of his body, according to his lawsuit against the university.

At a news conference in June, Richard Goldman, a student radio broadcaster from 1981 to 1983, said Anderson grabbed his genitals, tried to remove his pants and began to perform a physical exam at his three visits to the doctor for treatment of migraine headaches. Goldman said he confronted Canham about Anderson’s conduct after each incident.
After Schembechler heard the commotion of the last confrontation in Canham’s office and demanded to know what had happened, the coach engaged in a shouting match with Canham, Goldman said. But nothing changed, even when Schembechler succeeded Canham as athletic director in 1988.

At another June news conference, former football players Daniel Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson said they suffered repeated abuse by Anderson. Kwiatkowski said after the first assault he told Schembechler, who warned him to “toughen up.” Johnson recalled coaches threatening players with a visit to Anderson if they weren’t working hard enough.
Also in June, however, more than 100 former members of Schembechler’s teams signed a letter defending him. They contended that if he had known about sexual abuse, he would have immediately halted it and made sure anyone responsible was removed from the program. Current Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, who played for Schembechler in the 1980s, has said the same thing.
Asked for comment from Harbaugh, Fitzgerald cited the coach’s June 3 response to another reporter. “I can tell you this: Bo Schembechler . . . he never sat on anything, he never procrastinated on anything. He took care of it before the sun went down. That’s the Bo Schembechler that I know.”
Women said they also were abused by Anderson. The woman interviewed by The Post said the doctor had her take off her clothes during a freshman-year visit and subjected her to an extremely painful vaginal exam, telling her he had purposely squeezed her ovary. The woman said the trauma contributed to a suicide attempt in her 20s and has affected her to this day. At the time, she told only her boyfriend, she said.
In another interview, Michigan tennis player Cathy Kalahar said Anderson fondled her breasts during her first physical exam of freshman year. He suggested she have them reduced or become a lesbian because men would not like breasts as large as hers, she said. He referred her to a therapist who told her the events did not occur and were a sexual fantasy, she said.

Demands for accountability

When a team led by DuBois, the Washington University researcher, who also consulted on the WilmerHale report, looked at 101 doctors who had committed sexual abuse, they found remarkably few “red flags” that could be used to predict such behavior.
“Cases commonly occurred without obvious signs of a personality disorder, they occurred in both solo and larger medical practices alike, and they involved patients who were particularly vulnerable, as well as patients who exhibited no special vulnerabilities other than being a patient,” his team wrote in a 2017 paper.
DuBois found that all the doctors were male, the vast majority were older than 39, and most abuse occurred in private doctors’ offices, rather than in academic settings. Virtually all the cases involved multiple victims and incidents of abuse continued for more than a year.
DuBois said the first instance of abuse is very difficult to stop. But institutions need to make reporting sexual assault easier and must believe victims when they speak up.
“Where we could do a lot better is the repeat offenses,” he said. Survivors “don’t know who to report to. And the people who receive it don’t know what to do with it.”
The result is legal and criminal sanctions that are imposed years, and sometimes decades, after the fact, if at all.
Nassar, the Michigan State doctor, is now in prison, essentially for life, and Michigan State has agreed to pay his victims $500 million. Richard Strauss, who abused Ohio State wrestlers from 1979 to 1996, died by suicide in 2005. Ohio State has paid out more than $40 million to survivors so far. At USC, George Tyndall, who allegedly assaulted young women seeking gynecological care, was dismissed and USC has agreed to pay more than $850 million to survivors.
Tyndall faces 35 criminal charges. Leonard Levine, Tyndall’s criminal attorney, said the doctor continues to deny the accusations and intends to take the case to trial.
The university’s Board of Regents is scheduled to hear from survivors at its meeting Thursday. Some have filed a lawsuit contending the board is illegally limiting the number of speakers at the session.
Many want the administration to stop blaming a dead doctor and coaches, more fully acknowledge the impact of the abuse and institute additional reforms that will keep this from happening again.
“This goes well beyond Dr. Anderson as an individual,” Stinar said. “It’s an institution that failed their students, their athletes and members of the state of Michigan. My clients want accountability and change.” ... 052-f541-1

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Coach’s SafeSport suspension is 14th sexual misconduct punishment in Massachusetts youth hockey

Post by greybeard58 » Tue Sep 28, 2021 10:46 pm

Coach’s SafeSport suspension is 14th sexual misconduct punishment in Massachusetts youth hockey
By Bob Hohler Globe Staff, Updated June 12, 2021, 11:26 a.m.

No Olympic development sport in Massachusetts has had more individuals in its ranks sanctioned for sexual misconduct than ice hockey.

No Olympic development sport in Massachusetts has had more individuals in its ranks sanctioned for sexual misconduct than ice hockey. JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF
A prominent girls’ ice hockey coach in Central Massachusetts has been suspended by the US Center for SafeSport, marking the 14th time a person involved with youth ice hockey in Massachusetts has been disciplined for sexual misconduct after investigations by SafeSport or USA Hockey, the sport’s national governing body.

With the suspension in May of George J. Barrett Jr., the former owner and operator of the Worcester Lady Crusaders, no Olympic development sport in Massachusetts has had more individuals in its ranks sanctioned for sexual misconduct than ice hockey.

Nationally, the only state that has amassed more disciplinary actions for sexual misconduct in youth hockey is Minnesota, with 16. In the rest of New England, four individuals have been punished, two each in Connecticut and Maine.

The high number in Massachusetts has raised questions about the screening, training, and monitoring of coaches, referees, and players by USA Hockey’s state affiliate, Mass Hockey. In all, 11 of the 14 who have been sanctioned in Massachusetts have also been convicted of crimes, including rape, or face criminal charges.

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“It’s very unfortunate to see how many young people have been victimized by Massachusetts hockey coaches,” said the young woman who was the target of Barrett’s alleged sexual misconduct. “It is clear that Mass Hockey and SafeSport are not doing an adequate job of screening coaches and holding perpetrators accountable.”

The Globe does not identify victims of sexual misconduct without their permission. The young woman in Barrett’s case is now an honors law student who plays collegiate hockey and aspires to be a federal prosecutor of sex crimes and human trafficking.

Mass Hockey would not publicly discuss the matter, instead issuing a statement defending the organization’s policies and enforcement practices.

‘It is clear that Mass Hockey and SafeSport are not doing an adequate job of screening coaches and holding perpetrators accountable.’

“Any allegations of misconduct received by Massachusetts Hockey are taken seriously as the safety of Massachusetts Hockey participants is of paramount importance,” the statement said.

Six of the 14 cases in Massachusetts were adjudicated by USA Hockey before Congress established SafeSport in 2017 to sanction sexual misconduct in Olympic sports. USA Hockey forwarded those cases to SafeSport, which posted them on its public disciplinary database.

Barrett, 51, of Westminster, was found by SafeSport to have made non-consensual sexual contact, sexual advances, and sexual comments to the young woman while he was coaching her, beginning in 2017 when he was 48 and she was 18.

Barrett declined to be interviewed by SafeSport investigators. Efforts by the Globe to reach him were unsuccessful.

The athlete he allegedly mistreated participated briefly in the Lady Crusaders program of the New England Girls Hockey League. Barrett then began coaching her privately in his SweedHands personal training business.

In 2019, the young woman received a court restraining order against Barrett after she alleged in a sworn affidavit that he digitally penetrated her through her clothing, as well as sexually harassed her and made numerous requests for sexual favors. In addition, according to the alleged victim and SafeSport’s findings, he sent her photos of his genitalia.

A screenshot of a webpage of the Paterson (N.J.) Times showing the photo of a body bag that George Barrett allegedly sent to the hockey player.
A screenshot of a webpage of the Paterson (N.J.) Times showing the photo of a body bag that George Barrett allegedly sent to the hockey player. SCREENSHOT
She also alleged in the court document that Barrett, after their relationship deteriorated, sent her threatening messages, including an image of a body bag, and told her he “could make anyone’s death look like a suicide.” She stated she feared for her safety.

The Worcester district attorney’s office chose not to prosecute Barrett, to the distress of the young woman and her parents. The alleged victim and her family said the police and DA’s office indicated to them that they did not believe they had sufficient evidence to proceed.

Read more: Former star figure skater and local coach Ross Miner suspended for sexual harassment

Barrett sold the Lady Crusaders organization to the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center in 2019, after the woman filed the SafeSport complaint against him and received the restraining order. The new owners renamed the program the White Hawks.

USA Hockey published a story in 2016 lauding Barrett for creating opportunities for girls in Central Massachusetts to play the sport competitively. Now he is prohibited from participating in any capacity with any Olympic sport for one year.

SafeSport also ordered Barrett to serve three years of probation after his one-year suspension, and to have no contact with his alleged victim over the four years.

The woman decried SafeSport’s punishment as too lenient.

“Honestly, it is on their moral compass if he goes out and preys on another young girl. The system is corrupt,” she said.

She criticized SafeSport for permitting Barrett to continue coaching, with adult supervision, while he was under investigation, “even though I had a restraining order against him because he was sexually harassing me.”

SafeSport records indicate Barrett had no prior history of misconduct and that no one else has come forward with allegations against him.

‘It is on their moral compass if he goes out and preys on another young girl. The system is corrupt.’

Victim of George Barrett

Dan Hill, a SafeSport spokesman, said, “A suspension of any kind sends a message, and it’s something the Center takes seriously . . . If there are reports on an individual who has been suspended previously, the Center will take those seriously as well."

In all, SafeSport’s database lists sanctions against more than 1,500 individuals in the United States, including 43 in Massachusetts. The other Olympic sports in the state with the most people disciplined are USA Swimming (9), US Soccer (5), USA Gymnastics (4), and US Equestrian (4).

Mass Hockey is one of the larger youth sports organizations in the state associated with the Olympic movement, typically with more than 55,000 players, coaches, and officials participating. But the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association, for example, which is affiliated with US Soccer’s national governing body, has about 163,000 registered and affiliated players and adult participants. And the five individuals involved with youth soccer who have been disciplined by SafeSport had ties to programs other than Massachusetts Youth Soccer. Other major youth sports organizations in the state, such as basketball, are not fully affiliated with Olympic governing bodies.

The SafeSport disciplinary list does not include former Duxbury High boys’ hockey coach John Blake, who was fired in April after he was accused in a civil suit of repeatedly raping a male middle-school student in 2006.

Mass Hockey has summarily suspended Blake and forwarded his case to SafeSport. Blake has denied the allegation.

Blake’s alleged middle-school victim, Parker Foley, developed a drug addiction “to escape the mental pain and anguish,” his parents stated in a lawsuit against Blake and the Duxbury Public Schools. Foley died of a drug overdose last year at the age of 27. Late this past week, Blake filed a counterclaim against Foley’s parents, saying they destroyed his reputation with their accusation.

SafeSport’s list also does not include Carl Gray, who founded the Assabet Valley girls’ hockey program and was accused by numerous former players in Globe stories in 2020 of making crude comments about their bodies, initiating unwanted physical contact, and entering their locker rooms without notice.

One former player, Estey Ticknor, told the Globe that Gray initiated a sexual relationship with her while he was coaching her in 1981, when she was 17 and he was 43. She reported the allegation to SafeSport, which informed her in October after a preliminary investigation that it could not proceed because the alleged misconduct occurred when “there were no applicable community standards [law], USA Hockey policy or SafeSport policy in place.”

Gray has denied mistreating his former players. Of Ticknor, he said only, “We were best of friends. I respected who she was.”

Read more: Elite youth hockey coaches at Assabet Valley suspended after abuse complaints

Read more: Carl Gray, founder of prestigious Assabet Valley hockey program, comes under fire for treatment of players

Read more: Former Assabet hockey player recounts alleged sexual relationship with coach Carl Gray

USA Hockey assigned a five-member investigative committee last August to consider complaints from Ticknor and the parents of former Assabet players about Mass Hockey’s handling of allegations against Gray and other Assabet coaches.

The investigation is ongoing and is expected to be completed this summer, according to USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer. He said the process has been delayed by committee members contracting COVID-19.

Several parents who filed complaints called the delay unacceptable.

“We expected action, there was none; we expected follow-up, there was none; we expected communication, there was none," said Fred Isbell, a former Assabet coach whose daughter, Katie, told the Globe last year that Gray made unwanted physical contact with her and sexually charged remarks about her appearance.

The offenders on SafeSport’s disciplinary list include Andrew LeColst, a former ice hockey coach at Masconomet Regional High School who also owned a youth hockey club. LeColst pleaded guilty in 2020 to three counts of raping a girl he coached, beginning when she was 13.

Also sanctioned, in 2018, was Christopher Prew, who operated the Hot Shot hockey academy in Winthrop and faces nine counts in Essex Superior Court of indecent assault and battery on boys under the age of 14. Prew has pleaded not guilty.

A youth hockey referee also was disciplined. Brendan Kessler, of Plymouth, was sentenced in 2015 to 63 months in prison for possession and distribution of child pornography.

All the other hockey figures from Massachusetts on the SafeSport list are coaches, except for a former Braintree High School player who in 2002 pleaded guilty to raping a 15-year-old girl.

Because SafeSport provides no details about the alleged sexual misconduct of those disciplined, information about their cases is generally drawn from news reports. SafeSport’s database also does not disclose the damage done to the alleged victims.

The database states, for example, only that Robert Richardson, of Dorchester, was permanently barred in 2019 from USA Hockey activities because of sexual misconduct. SafeSport disciplined Richardson after a Globe story in 2017 detailed the emotional trauma that a former professional hockey player, David Gove, suffered because of Richardson allegedly raping him repeatedly as a youth.

From 2017: A hockey pro dies, and coach he said raped him is free

Gove’s family and Suffolk County prosecutors said Gove, who won the Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes, never escaped the anguish of the alleged sexual abuse.

Like Parker Foley, Gove struggled with a drug addiction. He died of an overdose in 2017 at the age of 38.


Many youth sports organizations are affiliated with a national governing body affiliated with the US Olympic and Paralympic Movement, such as USA Hockey, US Soccer, USA Swimming, and USA Track & Field. If you have experienced abuse or misconduct by someone in the US Olympic and Paralympic Movement — or if you have a reasonable suspicion of abuse or misconduct inflicted on, or by, someone in the movement — this link directs you to a reporting form: ... th-hockey/

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The link for Safe Sport's Centralized Database

Post by greybeard58 » Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:05 pm

Centralized Disciplinary Database

Last Updated: 09/28/2021 10:50:36 CDT

The U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Centralized Disciplinary Database is a resource designed to keep the public informed when individuals connected with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Movements are either subject to certain temporary restrictions pending investigation by the Center or are subject to certain sanctions after an investigation found them in violation of the SafeSport Code. The database also contains certain eligibility decisions made by the National Governing Bodies (NGB), their Local Affiliated Organizations (LAO), or the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), including those rendered prior to the establishment of the Center.

Users can search the database by Name, City, State, and/or Sport Affiliation(s). Enter as much (or as little) information as you know. Search results will include the Participant’s Name, City, State, Sport Affiliation(s), Decision Date, Misconduct, and Action Taken.

Learn more about the types of records published and the information included within the Centralized Disciplinary Database.

Read about the types of misconduct handled by the NGBs, LAOs, and USOPC, and what’s included in the Centralized Disciplinary Database.

IMPORTANT: By accessing and using the Centralized Disciplinary Database, you agree to accept the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Terms and Conditions. ... -database/

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Breakdown of safesport database:

Post by greybeard58 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:38 pm

Breakdown of safesport database:

18 out of 60 in Minnesota: 30%
145 USA Hockey out of 1,612 total: 9%

60 disciplined coaches in Minnesota:
1 National Wheelchair Basketball Association
5 U.S. Bowling Congress
1 U.S. Figure Skating
7 U.S. Soccer
5 U.S. Tennis
1 U.S. Ski & Snowboard
2 USA Basketball
1 USA Curling
7 USA Gymnastics
18 USA Hockey
4 USA Swimming
2 USA Taekwondo
1 USA Triathlon
2 USA Volleyball
1 USA Water Skit & Wake Sports, U.S. Tennis
2 USA Wrestling

145 disciplined coaches affiliated with USA Hockey in the nation (1,612 total):
2 Alaska
6 California
11 Colorado
1 Connecticut
3 Florida
1 Georgia
2 Iowa
2 Idaho
6 Illinois
1 Indiana
18 Massachusetts
1 Maryland
2 Maine
12 Michigan
18 Minnesota
4 Missouri
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Maggie Nichols from Little Canada complete opening statement

Post by greybeard58 » Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:25 pm

Maggie Nichols complete opening statement - YouTube

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At a quiet Senate hearing, four U.S. gymnasts made sure the truth was loud and uncomfortable

Post by greybeard58 » Thu Oct 07, 2021 3:08 pm

At a quiet Senate hearing, four U.S. gymnasts made sure the truth was loud and uncomfortable
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Gymnasts say FBI failed them in emotionally-charged testimony
In a Senate hearing on Sept. 15, four gymnasts condemned the FBI’s handling of the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by coach Larry Nassar. (The Washington Post)

Candace Buckner
September 16, 2021 at 8:16 p.m. EDT
We’ve seen them before, the four women who spoke Wednesday morning in a room full of U.S. senators.
We’ve watched them adorned in glossy gold, flashing those megawatt smiles they’ve been trained to wear since youth, standing atop Olympic podiums and mugging through NBC promotional shots. We’ve consumed the airbrushed advertisements for everything from crackers to body-positive lingerie. We’ve even joined in on the joke, imitating the “not impressed” face while turning one of the four gymnasts into a meme.
To the senators, to officials in law enforcement and the Olympic movement, and to anyone watching Wednesday’s hearing, these women demanded more than just an audience. Instead of seeing them merely as the smiling, ponytailed pixies we pay attention to every four years, they made us listen, really listen, to the horrifying stories about their time as unprotected girls in USA Gymnastics. Because for far too long, no one did.
Before McKayla Maroney began her opening statement to a Senate Judiciary Committee gathered to probe the FBI’s failure to properly investigate serial pedophile Larry Nassar, she looked to her right and commended her friend and former teammate Simone Biles on her “really powerful” testimony. However, her microphone was muted. Chairman Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) reminded her to push a button on the mic, and Maroney glanced up and smiled, asking: “Are we on?”
Maroney certainly was.
As she looked to her phone to read prepared notes, her voice was steady, no hint of a quiver. Yet still emotional. A voice forceful enough to reveal the strength of a survivor of sexual abuse but also quickened and raised to make plain her urgency for justice.
“Enough is enough. Today, I ask you all to hear my voice,” Maroney said. “I ask you, please, do all that is in your power to ensure that these individuals are held responsible and accountable for ignoring my initial report, for lying about my initial report and for covering up for a child molester.”
Sally Jenkins: Larry Nassar is in jail. Why isn’t everyone who ignored his crimes?
The four women — Biles, her sport’s most decorated athlete; Maroney, a member of the 2012 U.S. gold-winning team at the London Games; Maggie Nichols, a world team and NCAA champion; and Aly Raisman, the two-time captain of the American teams that won Olympic gold — shared testimony about the hell they went through as minors, as the agencies and law enforcement organizations sworn to keep them safe stood by and did nothing. Senators on both sides of the aisle took turns heaping praise on the gymnasts, using a litany of words to describe them.
Young women. Victims. Survivors. Witnesses. Heroes.
For more than an hour of opening and closing statements, the politicians talked. And spoke about bravery. And offered apologies. And injected their favorite letter — “I” — into the women’s ghastly reality, as if it was their own. But these lawmakers, like all of us, needed to just shut up and hear their words. Even when it was difficult to listen.
We’ve watched Biles stick the most difficult move in the world, and yet she described being in that room as more challenging than completing the Yurchenko double pike vault.
“To be perfectly honest, I can imagine no place where I would be less comfortable right now than sitting here in front of you and sharing these comments,” Biles said.
The greatest gymnast of all time, who has chosen to use her star power to keep the pressure on for a thorough investigation of USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the FBI, introduced herself to the room, then she went first.
Simone Biles to Congress: ‘I blame Larry Nassar, and I also blame an entire system’
It was upsetting to hear Biles get choked up when saying the words “Larry Nassar abuse.” She whispered an apology into the microphone and then went on to say she blamed Nassar but also the whole system that enabled him to molest hundreds of young people.
It was disturbing to hear how Nichols’s national team dream died once she reported the abuse to USA Gymnastics in the summer of 2015, eventually becoming not the Olympic medalist she was on track to be but rather “Gymnast 2” and “Athlete A” in the work done by investigators.
And it was excruciating to hear the details of Maroney’s experience with the FBI, how she had told an agent things she hadn’t yet revealed to her mother — that as a 13-year-old, within minutes of meeting the doctor appointed by USA Gymnastics at a camp, he had inserted his fingers into her vagina — and that the agent’s idea of a follow-up question was: “Did his treatment help you?”

U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney testifies during the hearing. (Pool/Reuters)
After Maroney delivered a barrage of body blows, name-dropping the most incompetent and spineless in this mess, Raisman lit a torch to everyone else involved; USA Gymnastics initially allowed Nassar to retire with his dignity intact — and to find an estimated 100 new victims.
“It was like serving innocent children up to a pedophile on a silver platter,” she said.
Raisman concluded the testimony, and the senators had the floor again to make comments and pose questions. Unfortunately, too many of those politicians decided to keep on talking.
With all due respect to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), we didn’t need to hear how he has two athletic daughters or his fears over their safety. Neither was the apology from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) given on behalf of all adults necessary. We needed to hear the women. A handful of lawmakers did ask questions, including Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.). And while in the spotlight, the quartet of survivors surrendered their own privacy to share real lessons on what trauma looks like.
In response to Booker’s question about what the gymnasts would like America to know, Raisman turned on her microphone and dropped her heart-wrenching truth about not even having the energy to stand up in the shower in the days and months after sharing her story for the first time, instead having to sit on the floor to wash her hair.
We’ll never see that kind of pain behind Biles’s smile on the cardboard cutout for Nabisco still displayed in grocery stores, nor as she’s presented by the other corporate sponsors of USA Gymnastics. In explicit terms, the four women at the witness table shattered the polished PR version of what we once imagined was their Olympic dream.
They publicly recalled the worst moments of their lives at the risk of triggering pain they may need months to recover from, as Raisman achingly pointed out, because they know accountability doesn’t happen until somebody brave enough steps forward and speaks up. Their stories should compel senators to take action. And as uncomfortable as it may be to hear such raw truth, they should compel all of us to listen. ... y-hearing/

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