USA Swimming (USAs) has added another name to the banned for life list – 20 year old Adrian Ghandtchi a swimmer from Altamonte Springs, Florida. Mr. Ghandtchi was arrested on July 24, 2012 for felony battery against a minor under Florida Statute 784.03(1)(a)(1) which states, “The offense of battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other.”
According to court records, the case concluded with Mr. Ghandtchi entering a nolo contendere (which literally means I will not contest it). The court accepted the plea and withheld adjudication of the case. Under Florida law, when the court accepts this plea without adjudication, the plea is not a conviction. Mr. Ghandtchi was not admitting or denying responsibility for the battery, but was agreeing to accept the court’s punishment.
The court’s punishment included: no contact with the minor victim; no entry into the Seminole Swimming Aquatic Center; 50 hours community service; banned drug and alcohol use with random submission to testing; written apology to the minor victim; no contact with anyone under 18 without the presence of a parent or guardian during the probation period; court ordered psychological evaluation; and probation.
USAs banned Mr. Ghandtchi for violation of sections 304.3.6, 304.3.8, and 305.1 of the Code of Conduct. Section 305.1 relates only to acts committed with a minor that are sexual in nature. Attorney Hubert Fletcher, who represents Mr. Ghandtchi, told us today that he intends to pursue legal action against USAs for publicizing this section as a reason for Mr. Ghandtchi’s ban. Mr. Fletcher stated that his client was not arrested for or charged with or found guilty of any sexual misconduct after a thorough investigation by the Seminole County Sheriff’s office and the district attorney’s office. His client entered a nolo plea for non-sexual battery.
USAs issued the following statement to us after learning of Mr. Fletcher’s intentions.
“USA Swimming has not been named in any lawsuit related to this incident and it would be premature to comment on this matter.”