iReport

Olympian sues USA Swimming saying they knew her coach groomed and sexually abused her as a minor and didn't protect her while covering up his conduct

Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors Smith sued USA Swimming on Monday, alleging the sport's national governing body knew her former coach sexually abused her as a minor and failed to protect her while shielding him.
Kukors Smith alleges Sean Hutchison, who began coaching her at a swim club near Seattle, groomed her for sexual abuse when she was 13, started touching and kissing her when she was 16, and engaged in sexual activity with her when she was 17.
'This lawsuit is about holding people accountable who should have protected a 15-year-old girl,' Kukors Smith told reporters, adding, 'I needed help and there were people in positions of power that could have helped me.'
Hutchison has denied the allegations, which emerged earlier this year when Kukors Smith, now 28, posted an emotional essay online. 
Hutchison, assistant coach on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, has not been charged with a crime. The office of his attorney, Brad Meryhew, said he had no comment on the lawsuit.
The case marked another scandal for USA Swimming and for the sports world, which has faced accusations that coaches and others, including former USA Gymnastics sports doctor Larry Nassar, exploited their positions to sexually abuse athletes in their care.
The U.S. governing body of swimming said it first learned of the underage abuse allegations when Kukors Smith, the 2009 world champion in the 200-meter individual medley who placed fifth in that event at the 2012 Games, posted her essay in February.