USA Gymnastics bans Richard Carlson – Whittier Daily News

Spread the love


Around 5:15 p.m. Friday EDT Marcia Frederick, the first American woman to win a World title in gymnastics, received an email and a message she had been waiting 38 years to receive.

USA Gymnastics had banned Richard Carlson nearly three years after Frederick first told the organization that Carlson had sex with when she was a teenager training for the Olympic Games.

The Friday ban comes after a three person review panel ruled in favor of Frederick following a March 19 hearing.

The ban also comes just days before former USA Gymnastics chief executive Steve Penny and Rhonda Faehn, the recently fired USA Gymnastics senior vice president for the women’s program, are scheduled to appear before a U.S. Senate committee that has been investigating the organization’s handling of the Larry Nassar scandal and other sexual abuse cases.

Frederick was originally told by USA Gymnastics to expect a ruling in the case within days of the March hearing.

“The timing is curious given USA Gymnastics is about to appear at Congressional hearings looking into their repeated failures to act in the past,” said Kimberly A. Dougherty, Frederick’s attorney.

Frederick, who at 15 in 1978 became the first U.S. woman to win a world title gymnastics, told the Orange County Register earlier this year that Carlson, her coach at a Connecticut gymnastics academy, had her perform sex acts on him for two years starting in 1979 and only weeks after she turned 16, then the age of consent in the state. Frederick also alleged that at the time Muriel Davis Grossfeld, a three-time Olympian and U.S. national team coach who ran the gymnastics academy and was Carlson’s boss, initially ignored the gymnast’s allegations against Carlson.

“Marcia has been strong and brave and fought hard to ensure other young athletes are not subject to harm in the future,” Dougherty said. Frederick, Dougherty said, was not ready to speak about the ruling on Friday.

“We are pleased the panel made the right decision and banned Carlson. That said, we remain concerned with the way the USAG and others have acted and failed to act in the past, as well as the handling of Marcia’s matter. The panel’s decision does not absolve USAG or others from failing Marcia and so many others in the past.”

During a 2011 interview with USA Gymnastics investigators in the Don Peters sexual abuse case, Frederick first told the organization that the sport’s sex abuse issue extended beyond Peters. Peters, the 1984 U.S. Olympic team coach, was under investigation following reporting by the Orange County Register that he had sex with three teenage gymnasts. Peters was Frederick’s coach when she won her world title. Frederick said she was not sexually abused by Peters. During the 2011 interview a USA Gymnastics investigator told Frederick that the organization was only focused on Peters at that time.

READ ALSO  Trump, the shutdown, Jeff Bezos divorce: Here's Wednesday's top news.

Carlson continued to coach young female gymnasts in the Long Island area until at least 2015 and instruct at USA Gymnastics-sanctioned clinics for promising young female athletes until at least 2012, according to USA Gymnastics reports and interviews.

Carlson has denied any wrong doing in the Frederick case.

Frederick filed a formal complaint about Carlson with USA Gymnastics on September 12, 2015. The complaint came two days after Penny was informed that Nassar was retiring from his position with the organization.

Penny confirmed Frederick’s complaint about Carlson in a December 17, 2015 letter obtained by the Register

“USA Gymnastics takes complaints of this nature very seriously and will investigate this matter,” Penny wrote.

“We anticipate that the investigation will be completed in approximately 90 days,” Penny added in the letter. Penny was forced to resign in March 2017 under pressure from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Frederick said she rejected a proposal by an attorney for Carlson made during a March 19 USA Gymnastics disciplinary hearing that Carlson would admit to having sex with her when she was a teenager and accept a lifetime ban from the sport in return for Frederick and USA Gymnastics not making the ban public,

Carlson began to groom Frederick for sex in early 1979 shortly after her World Championships triumph and as she began focusing on winning a medal at the 1980 Olympics Games in Moscow, Frederick told the Register.

“Richie had conversations with me, separately, about being closer to your coaches,” Frederick said. “(Carlson said) ‘Gymnasts should get very close to (their coach) so they have a good bond and a good relationship.’ So I said ‘OK, all right.’ I had no idea what was in store for me. And when I look back I was so easy (to be manipulated). I was so easy. It kills me. I feel sorry for her. That Marcia. Because I was so easy. I was right there. I was being groomed. Easily being groomed from the lipstick (comment). When I look back I can see it.

“He made a comment about how pretty my lips were. Odd, that’s an odd comment. But for me ‘pretty,’ there’s that word. Because he knew I was a loner. He knew I was a little on the outside of all the other girls and I was easy. So Richie had conversations (about getting closer).

“And my abuse with Richie was oral sex. ‘This is what we’re going to do and this is how you get closer to me.’”

Under Connecticut law in 1979 the age of consent was 16. The current Connecticut law making sex between a coach and athlete under 18 second-degree sexual assault wasn’t passed until 2002.

Frederick said the married Carlson insisted oral sex wasn’t “cheating” in trying to convince her to be intimate with him the first time.

READ ALSO  North Korea fury as Kim accuses USA of DISRUPTING talks with Seoul | World | News

“It seemed to happen so quick. ..,” she said.

“Then it was sometimes every day, twice a day, could be once a week, could be in the bedroom. If we traveled to competitions. In cars, at competitions, in hotels, everywhere, all the time. And for me it was just this is how this person wants us to be so we’re closer and I just did it.”

The routine continued until 1980 when Frederick told Grossfeld and her parents about Carlson after Jimmy Carter announced the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games. Grossfeld took no action, Frederick and her mother Christine Gaetano said.

“Muriel had no reaction whatsoever,” Frederick recalled in the January story. “No emotion, no reaction, didn’t say a word to me. I just stood there when I told her. She was in her car and I told her, ‘Muriel, I have to talk to you there’s something so wrong.’  And I was always sort of a quiet person anyway, so when I told her she just, there was nothing, zero, she just drove off.”

Grossfeld did not respond to numerous requests for comment over a more than a month long period earlier this year.

“The reason Muriel won’t call you back is because she continues to deny what happened,” Gaetano said. “Muriel knows what happened.

“Muriel will never admit that she knew he was lying about what happened with my daughter. She knew.”he

Grossfeld finally fired Carlson after he was caught having sexual intercourse with Frederick by his wife, Frederick and Gaetano said.Three months later Grossfeld hired Carlson back.

“When Richie was brought back into the gym,” Frederick said, “I had that same thing of ‘well, I’m not worth it.’”

That feeling, the scars from Carlson’s abuse, from not being believed continued to haunt Frederick for the next 38 years. Frederick’s torment only increased as days turned into weeks and then months as she waited for a ruling after confronting Carlson at the March hearing.

USA Gymnastics, Dougherty said “put Marcia through hell.

Frederick said she was told by USA Gymnastics during the March 2018 hearing that the organization would submit a summary of the case within a week of the hearing and have a ruling shortly thereafter.

“Silence like a cancer grow,” Frederick said, quoting Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence,” in regular social media posts as the weeks since the hearing passed.

The silence was finally broken early Friday evening, 38 years after Grossfeld ignored her, a panel had listened and believed her.



Source link


Spread the love

No Comments, Be The First!

Your email address will not be published.