Wednesday, April 7, 2010

South Bay Swimmer Details Sex Abuse by Former Coach

By Kathleen Richards
Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 10:46 AM

A fifteen-year-old victim of former swim coach Andrew King has come out about her experience being sexually abused by him. In an interviewwith the San Jose Mercury News, the girl named Julia says that 61-year-old King molested her approximately 150 times during a ten-month period while she was a swimmer at San Jose Aquatics.

After Julia told her youth pastor about the abuse, it eventually led to the discovery that King had abused swimmers for decades, but had always evaded the law. USA Swimming, the national governing body that oversees the sport, also never prohibited King from moving from club to club even though there's evidence that officials knew about the allegations against him. Julia's testimony, however, led to a criminal trial and he was sentenced to forty years in prison in January.

As reported in our cover story this week, sex abuse by swim coaches appears to be a widespread problem, and swimming officials haven't done enough to protect swimmers from abuse. USA Swimming only instituted its required background check in 2006, but it won't catch those who aren't prosecuted. A former Berkeley swim coach, Jesse Stovall, is soon to go on trial in Florida for allegedly having non-consensual sex with his star swimmer.

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