Depositions begin to reveal that USA Swimming should have been aware of San Jose Aquatics swim coach Andrew King's background prior to being hired in San Jose. The lawsuit claims that USA Swimming failed to conduct a proper background search on King at the time he was hired as the swim coach of San Jose Aquatics in December of 2000, and had they conducted such a background investigation, they would have discovered that King should never have been allowed to coach female swimmers. As the national governing body, USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competitions including the Olympic Games.
Online PR News – 03-February-2010 – – The San Jose personal injury law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard is vigorously pursuing its lawsuit against United States Swimming, Inc., also known as USA Swimming along with Pacific Swimming and San Jose Aquatics (Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case #109CV149813) as a result of sexual molestation acts committed against young teenage female swimmers by former San Jose Aquatics swim coach Andrew King, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Friday. As the national governing body, USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competitions including the Olympic Games.
The lawsuit claims that USA Swimming failed to conduct a proper background search on King at the time he was hired as the swim coach of San Jose Aquatics in December of 2000, and had they conducted such a background investigation, they would have discovered that King should never have been allowed to coach female swimmers.
In a deposition under oath, a former female swimmer of King described how Pacific Swimming board members referred to King as a 'pedophile' or 'child molester' in a joking manner, that King had a young teenage female swimmer living on his boat while at the same time King was staying with the parents of another teenage female swimmer that he was allegedly molesting as well.
The swimmer, also a victim of King's harassing behavior, said that she filed a formal complaint regarding King's behavior to the Pacific Swimming Board of Directors. The statement is backed up in an email allegedly sent by a former board member who acknowledged receiving the complaint but also stating that the complaint had been lost.
The victim also recalled how she overheard this board member and the then president of the Board refer to King as a 'pedophile' or 'child molester'. The victim stated that she recently received a Facebook message from the then Board President's wife stating that he (the board president) had been waiting to nail him (King) but had no proof. The victim went on to describe how King took one of the young female teenage swimmers and had her living on his boat for at least two years.
The victim then went on to discuss another swimmer, a young girl that King allegedly molested while staying at the home of her parents. When the family moved to Oak Harbor, Washington, King followed them only to abruptly resign in 1997 as the Oak Harbor, Washington swim coach right before parks and recreation commissioners were to meet with him about allegations of inappropriate behavior with young female swimmers. In May of 2000 a 16-year-old girl reported to Oak Harbor, Washington police that she was allegedly sexually abused by King when she was 12 and 13.
As widely reported in media outlets, a 1988 Contra Costa County Sheriff's report details how King impregnated a young teenage promising swimmer. The victim refused to prosecute King and the case was suspended. Despite King's alleged conduct in both Oak Harbor and San Ramon, King would be hired by San Jose Aquatics in a move sanctioned by USA Swimming.
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming formulates the rules and implements the policies and procedures for approximately fifty-nine Local Swimming Committees throughout the United States. Pacific Swimming, named in the lawsuit, is one of those 59 committees. Pacific Swimming has jurisdiction over several 'member clubs' including defendant San Jose Aquatics. King effectively operated the San Jose Aquatics swim team and personally coached the highest level teams and swimmers, having frequent and close day-to-day contact with young female swimmers.
"There are too many victims in this case for USA Swimming to look the other way," said attorney Robert Allard. "USA Swimming must be held accountable for their hiring practices and they must change the way that coaches with access to young children are screened and investigated," added Allard. "This is a wake up call for all youth athletic leagues to be pro-active and diligent in the way they investigate the backgrounds of coaches who are teaching our children," stated Allard.
In the coming months Allard plans on taking more depositions under oath in effort to discredit's USA Swimming's argument that it did not know about King's background and in an effort to change how youth coaches are screened and investigated.