Ex-swim coach's residence searched amid sexual abuse allegations

Ariana Kukors on her way to the 2009 World titles over 200IM- by Patrick B. Kraemer

Ariana Kukors on her way to the 2009 World titles over 200IM- by Patrick B. Kraemer

When the swimming events ended in London, Hutchison made sure she returned home, missing the closing ceremony, because "in Sean's eyes, I had been selfish enough", she wrote.

Kukors wrote that Hutchinson immediately started grooming her for abuse when he started coaching her at age 13, beginning with required handshakes, and making the girls under his supervision feel special.

Investigators have searched the Seattle home of a former U.S. swimming Olympic coach amid allegations that he sexually abused and took explicit photos of a world champion when she was underage.

The SeattlePI reports investigators with a Homeland Security taskforce searched Sean Hutchison's Seattle apartment Tuesday, recovering electronic devices they say may contain evidence.

Accusations of sexual misconduct rocked the sports world when USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was convicted in court after more than 250 victims accused him of sexual abuse out of which 150 delivered heartbreaking accounts of their assaults.

Allard, Kukors' lawyer, said USA Swimming failed to protect the swimmer.

"He said he loved me, and I thought he held the keys to my future - not just to my swimming career, but to my whole life", she wrote. "But in time, I've realized that stories like my own are too important to go unwritten".

Kukors, now 28, said in a statement on Wednesday that she went to police to report that Hutchison sexually assaulted her on trips and while training at Seattle area pools. "I absolutely deny having any sexual or romantic relationship with her before she was old enough to legally make those decisions for herself".

In her essay, which a representative confirmed, Kukors describes the first time she remembers Hutchinson behaving inappropriately toward her. Nassar was recently sentenced to decades in prison in a case that led to a reckoning for the gymnastics governing body, with top executives resigning and the entire board of directors planning to step down as requested by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Kukors' lawyer, Robert Allard said computers and phones were seized for examination. Kukors said she came forward to empower other survivors.

You can read the USA Swimming statement in full at the foot of our article of yesterday.

"Now with the benefit of hindsight and time, one would have to question whether there was any integrity to the first time they did this investigation", he said. Schubert at that time coached Olympic hopefuls at FAST and said he reported the rumors to Hutchinson's bosses.

USA Swimming said Thursday that it learned of the underage abuse allegations against Hutchison this week. It said it was notified in January of a case against Hutchison filed with the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

Mike Saltzstein, former vice president of USA Swimming who previously complained about the organization's handling of sexual abuse cases, questioned the thoroughness of the organization's 2010 investigation.

In a statement released Wednesday night, Kukors, a Seattle-native, said her former coach began grooming her - a term used to describe when a perpetrator will gain a victim's trust and break down their defenses - when she was a 13-year-old training at King Aquatic Club in Washington state.

Hutchison's bio has been removed from the website. In 2010 Hutchison resigned as a coach for the US Olympic team amid rumours that he was sexually involved with a swimmer on the team.

King Aquatic Club head coach Michael Brooks said in a statement Thursday afternoon that Hutchison "has had no direct interaction with our swimmers for a very long time".

Olympic medalist Margaret Hoelzer, Kukors' former teammate, said she never heard of Hutchison sexually abusing anyone but rumors were rampant that he and Kukors, then 21, were in a relationship. "We probably should have known at the time that something was going on but I never thought anything of it. but looking back on it now and her meeting a coach in a hotel room, it makes you wonder now what was going on". "And I was shocked", said Schubert.

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