Ex-Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors Smith reportedly suing USA Swimming alleging sexual abuse cover-up
Kukors Smith said that she was 'groomed' from 13 years old by her former coach
Former Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors Smith -- a former world champion in the 2009 200-meter individual medley -- is suing USA Swimming for allegedly allowing coach Sean Hutchison "to abuse me for a decade," per the Associated Press.
These allegations came to light in February,. The nearly 4,000-word note detailed a relationship in which Kukors Smith became dependent on Hutchison to get faster as a swimmer. According to the lawsuit, Hutchison began "grooming" Kukors Smith while coaching her at King Aquatic near Seattle when she was 13. She claims Hutchison began to engage her sexually when she was 17 years old.
Hutchison resigned as an Olympic assistant after a 2011 investigation from USA Swimming found no wrongdoing. At the time, USA Swimming called the rumors against Hutchison "malicious lies." Kukors Smith later claimed she "felt like a hostage in my own home." Hutchison stayed on as the owner of King Aquatic, but he stepped down and has had his house investigated for nude photos he allegedly took of Kukors Smith when she was 17 since the letter emerged.
According to the lawsuit, USA Swimming officials knew of allegations of Hutchison having inappropriate relations wtih underage swimmers in 2005, at which point Kukors Smith was 16.
Hutchison has vehemently denied the allegations, saying "there is no truth" to the claims, adding that "at no time did I ever abuse Ariana Kukors or do anything with her that was not consensual," per the AP. He has not been charged with any crimes to date.
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