Today a lawsuit was announced in San Jose accusing the governing body of U.S. competitive swimming, USA Swimming, of negligence for failing to prevent a swimmer from sexual abuse at the hands of her coach.
According to reports on MSNBC and ABC, the suit says swim coach Norm Havercroft sexually abused plaintiff Jancy Thompson over the course of a five-year period, beginning when she 15 years of age, adding that USA Swimming had knowledge of the situation but continued to allow Havercroft to coach children.
ABC has been following the escalating investigation, noting in its report:
Sources say that USA Swimming attorneys and insurance brokers attended a mediation session with another alleged victim of Havercroft’s in 2002, which ended in a confidential civil settlement with Havercroft. Documentation obtained by ABC News shows two mediation sessions in the case held that year. In a discovery document from a 2009 sexual abuse lawsuit against USA swimming involving another coach, the organization denied having any knowledge that Havercroft had “inappropriate relations” with any swimmers.
Both 20/20 and World News with Diane Sawyer have reported in the past that 36 USA Swimming coaches had been banned because of alleged sexual misconduct.
Olympic hopeful Jancy Thompson, who has chosen to speak publicly now at the age of 28, told the press: “I was robbed of a normal childhood and never performed to my full potential.”