The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is investigating allegations made against a former U.S. Olympic swimming coach by swimmer Ariana Kukors. She told investigators that Sean Hutchison groomed her for sex from a young teen, and that she was sexually assaulted by him multiple times; even taking nude photos of her before she was 18.
Reported by SeattlePI.com, Kukors, now 28 years old, competed in the 2012 Olympics for Team USA in London, taking fifth place in the 200-meter individual medley.
Homeland Security agents searched Hutchison’s Seattle apartment on Tuesday, looking for electronic evidence of explicit photos of swimmers.
Hutchison was an assistant coach on the U.S. swim team for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He also coached Kukors at King Aquatics in the Seattle area.
http://www.UniversalSports.com 2009, Rome, Italy, FINA Swimming World Championships, Womens 200m Medley, American Ariana Kukors breaks the world record for the second day in a row and becomes the world champion at 2:06.15. (Universal Sports, UniversalSports.com)
In 2010, Hutchison resigned from a coaching job in Fullerton, California after being accused of having a relationship with one of his swimmers. He denied the allegation of misconduct.
In her statement, Kukors said, “I never thought I would share my story because, in so many ways, just surviving was enough. I was able to leave a horrible monster and build a life I could have never imagined for myself.
“But in time, I’ve realized that stories like my own are too important to go unwritten. Not for the sake of you knowing my story, but for the little girls and boys whose lives and future hangs in the grasp of a horribly powerful and manipulative person. That they may not have to go through the same pain, trauma, horror, and abuse. That their parents, mentors, and guardians are better able to spot the signs of grooming and realize it’s tragic consequences before it’s too late.”
A Homeland Security spokesperson told SeattlePI.com, “We are still in the very preliminary stages of this investigation, but obviously a top priority in all cases involving alleged online child exploitation is identifying any possible minor victims. (A) phone line and email box will be closely monitored by HSI agents and all calls will receive a prompt response.”
The latest allegations follow the recent sentencing of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar for years of sexual abuse of girls. Congress’ response to the Nassar case included the House Committee on Energy and Commerce calling on USA Swimming to turn over records related to alleged abuse.
http://www.UniversalSports.com 2010, Dubai, UAE, FINA, World Swimming Championships (25m), in the Women’s 100m Medley, Kukors (USA) gets the win by .32 seconds, at 58.95, she set the Championship record in the semi. (Watch the full event at UniversalSports.com)
A Jan. 26 letter signed by six members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and sent to Tim Hinchey, president and CEO of USA Swimming, read, in part,
“The abhorrent abuses associated with USA Gymnastics, as well as allegations in 2014, when 19 former swimmers said they were sexually abused by their coaches, may raise concerns about whether your organization has sufficient mechanisms to protect your athletes from abuse and mistreatment. Accordingly, the Committee is seeking information from USA Swimming because of the role it plays in overseeing swimming and protecting all of its athletes.”