Authorized stress on Richard Callaghan, a disgraced elite American determine skating coach, ratcheted up Monday with the submitting of a lawsuit accusing of him of years of sexual abuse and accusing the game’s nationwide governing physique of not doing sufficient to cease it.
The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Courtroom in Buffalo by Craig Maurizi, 57, a outstanding coach and a former skating pupil of Mr. Callaghan’s. Mr. Maurizi first informed The New York Times in 1999 that Mr. Callaghan, 74, had begun an inappropriate sexual relationship with him when Mr. Maurizi was a minor and that the exploitive relationship continued, on and off, for years as the 2 males grew to become teaching colleagues.
Mr. Callaghan, finest identified for teaching Tara Lipinski to an Olympic gold medal in 1998 and training Todd Eldredge to a world title and 6 nationwide championships, has lengthy denied any inappropriate conduct.
Final August, Mr. Callaghan was barred from determine skating completely by the U.S. Middle for SafeSport, a nonprofit group created to trace and examine the abuse of athletes. The ban adopted one other allegation of sexual misconduct made in opposition to Mr. Callaghan by Adam Schmidt, a former skating pupil. Mr. Schmidt grew to become the fourth male skater to publicly accuse Mr. Callaghan of improper conduct throughout a interval between the early 1990s and the early 2000s.
Mr. Callaghan appealed his penalty to an impartial arbitrator. And final December, it was diminished to a three-year suspension.
Monday’s lawsuit additionally seeks damages from U.S. Determine Skating; the Skilled Skaters Affiliation, a training group; and the Buffalo Skating Membership, the place Mr. Maurizi started taking classes as a 13-year-old from Mr. Callaghan in 1976 and mentioned he was abused from the age of 14.
Mr. Callaghan’s lawyer didn’t reply to a request for remark. U.S. Determine Skating and the Buffalo Skating Membership declined to remark. The Skilled Skaters Affiliation mentioned it had not acquired an official notification of the lawsuit, including that it was “dedicated to the security of athletes and studies all claims of abuse to the U.S. Middle for SafeSport and native authorities.”
The go well with was filed below New York’s Child Victims Act. It was signed into legislation final 12 months by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and was meant to provide survivors of sexual abuse an opportunity to sue adults whom they accuse of abusing them years in the past.
“I would like for Richard Callaghan to be stopped,” Mr. Maurizi mentioned in an interview on Monday. “I’m dedicated to cease giving him the chance to abuse anybody else.”
In line with the lawsuit, as the wedding of Mr. Maurizi’s dad and mom broke up, Mr. Callaghan started isolating him in Buffalo and grooming him for what turned out to be years of sexual abuse. Mr. Callaghan tempted Mr. Maurizi with pornography and alcohol, which escalated to sexual banter, forcible touching of Mr. Maurizi’s genitals, mutual masturbation and oral and anal intercourse, the lawsuit mentioned.
Mr. Maurizi started utilizing medicine and developed an consuming dysfunction to deal with Mr. Callaghan’s management over his life and “fixed” sexual abuse, the lawsuit mentioned.
Like gymnastics and swimming, determine skating has been rocked by sexual abuse scandals. Accusations of impropriety in opposition to Mr. Callaghan and John Coughlin, a former elite skater who died by suicide in January 2019, have gained widespread consideration.
Ilene Jaroslaw, Mr. Maurizi’s lawyer, mentioned in an interview Monday that accusations of sexual abuse by Mr. Callaghan had been broadly identified however had been willfully ignored by the skating institution due to his success as a coach.
“The curiosity of the athletes is one thing that has been forgotten about for a really very long time,” mentioned Ms. Jaroslaw, the chair of the white collar prison protection observe at Phillips Nizer LLP. “The emphasis on successful on the expense of one of the best pursuits of those creating younger folks has been the fallacious precedence for too lengthy.”
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