Lawsuit Charges USA Swimming Responsible for Sex Abuse of Olympian Ariana Kukors Smith
Olympian Ariana Kukors Smith, in a lawsuit filed in California, alleges that her swim coach sexually abused her as a minor, and that the sport’s governing body covered up the abuse. Attorney Robert Allard, representing Kukors Smith, is suing USA Swimming for the abuse she alleges she suffered by her swim coach, Sean Hutchison. Mr. Allard was joined at the press conference to announce the lawsuit by legal team members attorney Ray Mendoza and sex crimes investigator Michael Leininger.
The lawsuit claims USA Swimming manipulated background check procedures as a method of covering up Hutchison’s actions and mishandled the investigation into the allegations against the swim coach.
Kukors Smith is a 2012 Olympian. Mr. Allard stated in a press conference that the goal of the lawsuit was to force USA Swimming to “accept responsibility for allowing, and in fact, enabling a known predator coach to molest for almost a decade sexually, my client Ariana Smith…”
Protecting Pedophile Coaches Prevalent
Attorney Robert Allard has been involved in litigation against USA Swimming for nearly a decade, claiming the “culture of protecting pedophile coaches” is so prevalent in USA Swimming that the only solution is to “…blow it all up and rebuild it from the ground up.”
The civil lawsuit also names former Olympic swim coach, Mark Schubert, for his failure to report reasonable suspicion of child endangerment or child abuse. Schubert coached Kukors Smith at the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships and 2007 World Championships in Australia. It is during this time which Hutchison is alleged in the lawsuit to have been openly engaged in inappropriate behavior, such as kissing, cuddling and hugging, with Kukors Smith.
Ariana Kukor-Smith Claims Hutchison “Stole” from Her
In an interview, Kukor-Smith claimed that Hutchison stole her swimming career, her virginity, her college experience, her Olympic dream and even her friendships and that while organizations like USA Swimming could “deter, detect and discipline sexual abuse,” they have done nothing other than protecting their public image.