As we reported earlier, Greg Winslow cannot be prosecuted in Arizona for the alleged sexual abuse he inflicted upon one of his age group swimmers when coaching at Sun Devil Aquatics from 2005 to 2008. Arizona state civil law, however, does not preclude his purported victim from suing him for monetary damages. She filed such a lawsuit in the Maricopa County Superior Court on June 27 against Mr. Winslow.
Not only did she file this suit against Mr. Winslow, but she also named USA Swimming as the national governing body for swimming, Sun Devil Aquatics as the employer of Mr. Winslow, Michael Chasson as the president and head coach of Sun Devil, Mrs. Winslow and Jill Chasson as the spouses of Mr. Winslow and Mr. Chasson, and Arizona State Swimming as the governing agency for Arizona swimming.
This lawsuit seeks general and special damages for an unspecified amount against all the defendants. While the allegations in the complaint are extensive, the essence of the complaint against Mr. Winslow centers on his sexual assault and battery of the plaintiff that intentionally and negligently caused emotional harm to her. In committing this abuse, Mr. Winslow also breached the coach/swimmer fiduciary relationship. The other counts in the complaint address the other defendants’ negligence in hiring Mr. Winslow, negligent failure to properly train and supervise him, negligent failure to enforce policies that would prevent such conduct, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation, and negligent failure to control Mr. Winslow’s sexual and inappropriate misconduct.
The victim’s attorney, Lincoln Combs, had no comment regarding the lawsuit at this time. Through our record search, we learned that the complaint has not yet been served on any of the parties. Under Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, the plaintiff has 120 days from the day after filing the lawsuit (June 28) to serve the complaint upon the defendants. In this case that date will be October 25.
While the timing may be purely coincidental, in early July the defendant Jill Chasson resigned from her service as Chairman of the National Board of Review for USA Swimming. She cited the desire to focus on her family and her law practice as the reason for her decision to step down.
We contacted each defendant seeking a response to the filing of this lawsuit. As of this time we received a response only from USA Swimming: “USA Swimming is aware of the complaint but has not been served with a lawsuit.”
At the time of the alleged incidents described in the complaint, Mr. Winslow was, and continues to be, a coach member of USA Swimming. We asked the Office of Safe Sport about whether USA Swimming was conducting an investigation into Mr. Winslow’s alleged sexual abuse of the plaintiff. USA Swimming appropriately replied, “USA Swimming is unable to comment on any on-going investigation.”