Boston, Mass., June 20, 2018 – Andrus Wagstaff, PC, located in Denver, Colorado and Boston, Massachusetts has filed a complaint on behalf of Marcia Frederick and all others similarly situated, against the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics (USAG) and others. This lawsuit was filed on June 20, 2018 in the District Court of Massachusetts. Click here to read the complaint.
The suit was filed on behalf of Marcia Frederick, the first American female gymnast to win Gold at the World Championship for the U.S.A. and others similarly situated. The action's central allegations involve violations of the Federal Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (The Safe Sport Act), due to systemically failing to respond to and report suspected child abuse of amateur athletes to law enforcement.
“I'm hopeful that this action will help so many of my fellow athletes, who were also devastated by abuse at a young age, to obtain justice and accountability from those responsible for allowing this culture to continue for so long,” said Ms. Frederick, 1980 Olympic Gymnast.
“I also hope that it will ensure protection of our future athletes.”
According to the complaint, “The USAG and the USOC's conduct has been so egregious and with utter disregard for young gymnasts, including Ms. Frederick, that Congress responded by enacting the Safe Sport Act in February 14, 2018, which was promulgated ‘to promote a safe environment in sports that is free from abuse, including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, of any amateur athlete.'
As of February 14, 2018, the Safe Sport Act mandated that USAG and the USOC, along with their agent coaches and members, report any assault or abuse to authorities within 24 hours. The Safe Sport Act makes non-reporting a federal crime and imposes significant fines, as well as other damages. Additionally, under the Safe Sport Act, an independent body, the U.S. Center for Safe Sport (“Center for Safe Sport”), was created to adjudicate the sexual abuse cases in the Olympic Movement and other amateur athlete settings.
Frederick's Attorney Kim Dougherty stated, “It is without question that the USOC and the USAG has received numerous reports of athlete abuse over the past several decades. Despite Congress' attempt to force them to be responsible by passing the Safe Sport Act in February of this year, the USOC and USAG continue to ignore their obligations, and failed to report Marcia's perpetrators, and undoubtedly countless others, to law enforcement as mandated by the Act. As a result, these perpetrators avoid criminal investigation and roam free, leaving the abused athletes hopeless, pained and distressed.”
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