Australian Coach John Wright Charged With 20 More Child Abuse Offenses

Former Australian swim coach John Wright, who was arrested last year and faced nine counts of indecent dealing of a child, was charged with a further 20 offenses last week.

Wright, 78, was arrested and extradited from his home in Western Australia to Brisbane in October 2021, facing nine counts of indecent dealing of a child and one count of common assault.

Police have now laid an additional 20 charges on Wright relating to indecent treatment of a child, after more alleged victims came forward and made formal complaints, according to a report from the Brisbane Times.

Police notified Wright of the new charges last Wednesday (Feb. 16). He is currently in custody and scheduled to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on March 14.

Wright’s initial charges stemmed from alleged indecent dealing offenses that took place between 1980 and 1986 in the Brisbane, Yeppoon and Rockhampton areas of Australia.

The story was broken by the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), which aired a two-part documentary series back in October. The report revealed that Wright was accused of abusing swimmers Shane LewisColin MarshallTony Blundell and Paul Shearer.

Both Shearer and Lewis contacted Swimming Australia regarding the abuse in 2009 and 2016, respectively.

Swimming Australia told Shearer it could not conduct a formal investigation at the time because he did not file a formal complaint, while Lewis, after feeling “let down” by SA, gave up his pursuit against Wright. Lewis died in February 2021 following a fatal prescription drug overdose at the age of 47.

You can read more on Wright’s initial offenses here.

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3 months ago

The torment that Shane went through from not only the abuse at the hands of John Wright but the total disregard shown from Swimming Australia, all contributed to the death of a most beautiful, caring, honest and most wonderful human being.

4 months ago

Swimming Australia could do an informal investigation for an informal complaint.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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