USOC Sued for Forcing Athletes to Train with Predator Coaches in Order to Pursue Olympic Dreams

A newly filed lawsuit on behalf of four taekwondo champion athletes claims that the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) engaged in sex trafficking by forcing the athletes to train and travel with known sexual predator coaches.

The USOC sex trafficking lawsuit is a joint legal effort brought forth by nationally prominent attorneys who work on behalf of sexual abuse victims, including attorneys Robert Allard and Lauren Cerri from Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of former USA Taekwondo (USAT) athletes Amber Means (Randall), Mandy Meloon, Heidi Gilbert, and Gabriella Joslin.

According to the lawsuit, the USOC and USAT knowingly participated in a venture to traffic the four young female athletes and numerous other unknown other young female USA Taekwondo athletes around the world to be used for the sexual benefit of defendants Steven and Jean Lopez. In return, the lawsuit states that the USOC and USAT received sponsorship money from the Olympic gold medals brought home by the athletes.

Jean Lopez was the USOC’s taekwondo coach at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Games. He was also given credentials to attend the 2016 Rio Olympics by the USOC although he was under investigation by the USAT SafeSport program.

The lawsuit alleges that the USOC’s acting-CEO Susanne Lyons had knowledge of the numerous complaints of rape and sexual assault made by U.S. athletes against the Lopez brothers, but refused to take any action.

Taekwondo champion Mandy Meloon first notified the USAT in 2006 that her coach Jean Lopez had sexually assaulted her. USAT dismissed her claim. On April 3, 2018, the USOC banned Jean Lopez from coaching for life after the U.S. Center for SafeSport recommended a permanent ban as result of finding that he engaged in a decade-long pattern of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse of younger female athletes.

The lawsuit cites numerous violations of federal law which criminalize sex trafficking. All National Governing Body club sport athletes sexually abused in or after 2004 are asked to contact one of our legal team attorneys. You may call the law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard at 408-289-1417 or reach us by email. Your call is confidential. There is never a fee to evaluate your claim.