USA Swimming, Coaches Sued by Swimmer for Alleged Sexual Abuse

Swim coaches

Another USA Swimming coach was accused of sexual misconduct with a teen female swimmer in a lawsuit filed against the coach and the swimming organization, which is the governing body for the U.S. Olympic swim team and hundreds of competitive swim teams around the country.

The suit, filed in a state court in Jackson County, Missouri, alleges that between the summer of 2006 and the winter of 2007, the coach, Robert Mirande, "groomed" the young woman resulting in "inappropriate sexual contact" when she turned 18.

VIDEO: Inside USA Swimming

The USA Swimming code of conduct prohibits coaches from engaging in sexual relationships with swimmers under their direction. The suit alleges USA Swimming, despite being informed of the alleged sexual misconduct, allowed Mirande to move to a different state where he currently coaches other swimmers. Mirande is now a swim coach in suburban Washington, D.C.

Mirande told he had not yet seen the lawsuit. Earlier, Mirande strongly denied any sexual relations with the young woman.

In a statement released today, USA Swimming said: "We have been investigating this matter for the last three months.

"Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain critical information from the individual bringing forward the complaint, although other individuals with whom our investigator has spoken have been quite helpful," the statement continued. "Because we take allegations of coach misconduct very seriously, we have notified local law enforcement authorities. Our top priority remains ensuring the safety of our membership, and in that regard, it is our hope that this case will provide the details we've been seeking in order to carry out our review process."

Rogues' Gallery of Swim Coaches

The lawsuit claims USA Swimming "failed to enact and enforce adequate policies, procedures, regulations, and requirements to protect member athletes from inappropriate sexual contact" by coaches and "failed to timely investigate the reported incidents" of the alleged sexual misconduct with the swimmer, according to the suit.

USA Swimming told ABC News earlier this month it is investigating the allegations of sexual misconduct by Mirande towards "L.A.S." and said the coach vigorously denied the claims.

As reported in a recent ABC News investigation, some 36 coaches have been banned for life by USA Swimming over the last decade because of alleged sexual misconduct with swimmers. In one case, a California swim coach, Andy King, was found to have sexually abused more than a dozen swimmers over 30 years in several different cities. King was sentenced to 40 years in prison this year.

VIDEO: Brian Ross Investigates Molestation in U.S. Swimming

WATCH PART 1 of the 20/20 investigation.

WATCH PART 2 of the 20/20 investigation.

The Missouri lawsuit accuses Mirande of using his trust and authority as a coach to perpetrate "sexual grooming, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual abuse" of the swimmer, whose parents said the relationship was not reported to police because she was no longer a minor.


  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...