Former Stockton Swim Club coach Shunichi Fujishima has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl he’d coached.
Fujishima pleaded guilty last month. The girl he abused testified at the sentencing hearing, according to The Colorado Springs Gazette, saying that Fujishima’s abuse drove her out of the sport entirely.
“I feel like I am in a hole with no way out, no stairs, no light, nothing,” the girl said. “Now I feel sad, empty, lonely and full of shame.”
Court records said Fujishima would regularly drive the girl from swim practice to his condo to have sex with her, and even filmed her performing sexual favors. The girl said he began grooming her at the age of 11, and turned the relationship sexual when she was 12.
Fujishima was banned by the U.S. Center for SafeSport as of February 19. He’s currently “ineligible,” meaning the appeal window could still be open with the Center for SafeSport.
Fujishima is also at the center of a civil lawsuit that is still ongoing. The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that the Stockton Swim Club and Pacific Swimming have reached confidential settlements and are no longer parties in that lawsuit. But the suit remains against both Fujishima and USA Swimming.