San Jose, CA (PRWEB) May 24, 2012
The law firms of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard of San Jose, California, and Shamberg, Johnson and Bergman in Kansas City, Missouri, are announcing that the California Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District, has ordered USA Swimming to turn over all sexual abuse and molestation complaints going back the last twenty years. The two law firms represent plaintiff Jancy Thompson in a case seeking monetary damages for the alleged sexual abuse and molestation by USA Swimming certified Coach Norm Havercroft that the lawsuit claims could have been prevented by USA Swimming (Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case #CV174783). The latest ruling filed by the court on May 18, 2012 (Order #H038057) denied USA Swimming's request to stop the production of the documents.
USA Swimming had appealed a Santa Clara County Superior Court ruling ordering the organization to turn over all sexual abuse and molestation complaints going back the last twenty years.
Attorney Robert Allard, representing Jancy Thompson, also represented 14-year-old Jane Doe in an alleged sexual abuse and molestation lawsuit against USA Swimming (Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case #109CV149813) that was settled confidentially following the same Court of Appeal ordering (Order #H036240) USA Swimming to turn over the sexual abuse and molestation complaint documents.
"USA Swimming needs to stop concealing the identity of potential pedophiles and start protecting young swimmers," said Allard. "Parents have a right to know the identities of those suspected of abuse and molestation so that they can take the steps necessary to keep their children safe. The more information parents have the better. They have the right to know the truth, especially when it comes to their children," added Allard.
According to a court record filed in the Jane Doe case (Plaintiff's Reply to Opposition to Motion to Compel Compliance with Court Order Compelling Production of Documents and Request for Momentary, Issue and/or Evidentiary Sanctions), the demand for documents began in the fall of 2010 when Allard received a court order to take the deposition of the USA Swimming person most qualified to testify regarding claims or complaints of sexual harassment or abuse by its coaches during the prior 10 years and for the deponent to produce documents in its possession or control concerning those claims or complaints. In response to the court order, the court record states that USA Swimming produced 1,864 pages of heavily redacted documents which according to court records resulted in USA Swimming being fined $5,250 for violating the order.
"Despite overwhelming evidence of sexual molestation by its coaches based on USA Swimming's own public list of banned coaches, USA Swimming continues to engage in a campaign to evade accountability for its actions and silence the molestation victims who have filed lawsuits," said Allard. In the lawsuit, Jancy Thompson v. USA Swimming, et al, the complaint alleges that USA Swimming had extensive knowledge about its member coach Norm Havercroft sexually abusing his swimmers as early as 1996 yet allowed Havercroft to continue coaching and consequently sexually molest Thompson beginning in 1997.
"It would be refreshing if USA Swimming spent even a fraction of the amount of time and money that it has devoted to protecting these documents on implementing measures to completely eradicate pedophiles from its midst. Until this mentality of protecting image over the safety of children at all costs goes away, real change cannot occur," claims Allard.
As the national governing body, USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for the Olympic Games.