Former Fort Dodge Senior High, Iowa swim coach Aaron Poldevaart has been banned for life by USA Swimming. His ban is effective July 18th, 2017 and was announced last week on August 18th after his one-month appeal period expired.
Poldervaart was sentenced in March to 5 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child by a school employee. He was accused of sexual misconduct with a student. The offense is a Class D felony in Iowa. Iowa sentencing guidelines say that 5 years is the maximum imprisonment for a Class D felony, along with a fine of $750 to $7,500.
The 23-year old Dodge was an assistant boys and girls swim coach during the 2015-2016 season and also served as an assistant coach at Iowa Central Community College.
Poldevaart was banned under two sections of the current USA Swimming Code of Conduct – 304.3.7 and 304.3.19. 304.3.7 relates to sexual misconduct, and 304.3.19 is USA Swimming’s catchall category that allows sanction for conduct “detrimental to the image or reputation of USA Swimming, a LSC, or the sport of swimming.”
The full text of those sections are below:
A Any inappropriate sexual conduct or advance, or other inappropriate oral, written, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature at any time, past or present, directed towards an athlete or any person under the age of eighteen (18) by (i) a coach member or other non-athlete member, or (ii) any other adult participating in any capacity whatsoever in the activities of USA Swimming (whether such adult is a member or not).
B Any act of sexual harassment, including without limitation unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other inappropriate oral, written, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature in connection with or incidental to a USA Swimming-related activity by any person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming (whether such person is a member or not) directed toward any member or other person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming.
C A romantic or sexual relationship, even if it is a consensual relationship between adults, which began during the swimming relationship, between athletes and those individuals
(i) having direct supervisory or evaluative control, or (ii) who are in a position of power and trust over the athlete. Except in circumstances where no imbalance of power exists, coaches have this direct supervisory or evaluative control and are in a position of power and trust over those
athletes they coach. The prohibition on romantic or sexual relationships does not include those relationships where it can be demonstrated that there is no imbalance of power. For example, this prohibition does not apply to a relationship between two spouses or life partners which existed prior to the swimming relationship. For factors that may be relevant to determining
whether an imbalance of power exists, consult the USOC’s Safe Sport Policies at www.teamusa.org/Footer/Legal/Governance-Documents.
D Any peer-to-peer sexual abuse. For the purposes of the Code of Conduct, the term “peer-to-peer sexual abuse” shall mean any unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature directed towards a minor athlete by another minor athlete.
304.3.19 Any other material and intentional act, conduct or omission not provided for above, which is detrimental to the image or reputation of USA Swimming, a LSC or the sport of swimming.