Sex Abuse Survivors, Allard Call For Hinchey To Purge USA Swimming Of Enablers

Sexual abuse survivors Debra Grodensky, Tracy Palmero and Suzette Moran, along with attorney Bob Allardcalled for USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey to rid the organization of remaining employees who covered up sex abuse under former executive Chuck Wielgus.

The three survivors of sexual abuse spoke publicly today at a press conference announcing a set of three lawsuits filed against USA Swimming over abuse by swim coaches Andy King, Everett Uchiyama and Mitch IveyYou can read more about the lawsuits in our earlier report here.

“Mr Hinchey: I believe you to be a good man with good intentions,” Allard said.

“True change cannot occur unless those who knew [about sexual abuse] and remained silent and did nothing are ousted from USA Swimming’s leadership.”

The press conference aimed squarely at Wielgus, USA Swimming’s executive for nearly 20 years. Wielgus, who died in 2017, was heavily criticized throughout his tenure for failing to prevent widespread abuse of swimmers by coaches.

Chuck Wielgus was the poster-boy ‘bad guy’ within this organization,” Allard said. “He’s now gone. But he did not act alone. Not even close. He had the cooperation of a very large board of directors and a very large management team.

“There are people who remain in leadership positions today within USA Swimming who go way back to even the days of Debra Grodenski in the late ’80s, early ’90s. And if it means to blow things up to replace all these people with some good people, then that’s what we have to do. That’s where it starts.”

Grodensky, who was sexually abused by King in the 1980s, specifically named three people she says knew about King’s abuses who remain in leadership positions with USA Swimming today and have never been held accountable:

  • Clint Benton
  • Steve Morsilli
  • Millie Nygren

You can watch the full press conference via the Childhood Sexual Abuse Lawyers Facebook page below:

You can read the full complaint documents below:

USA Swimming gave the following comment:

“We are aware of the information publicly released today in California. We fully support survivors of sexual abuse along their healing journey. USA Swimming’s Safe Sport program continues to work with prominent health and education experts to provide meaningful member resources and SwimAssist funding to those in need. The organization and its current leadership remain committed to providing a safe environment and a positive culture for all its members.

“The three named offenders have long been on USA Swimming’s list of Individuals Permanently Suspended or Ineligible for Membership due to the allegations of misconduct from the 1980s and 1990s, and the U.S. Center for SafeSport has recognized and honored our bans.”

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2 years ago

Benton, Morselli and Nygren definitely need to go or to resign any position of leadership within USA Swimming (even at the LSC level). They had their chance to do something and blew it. Furthermore, you have to wonder about the values and ethics of the people that served on any of the USA Swimming Board of Directors under Wilgus’ tenure as Executive Director. Most, if not all, of these people need to go. Even the hiring of Hinchey and his ability to lead USA Swimming out of this scandal is questionable. He’s another, in a long list, of lawyers that worked for the law firm of Holme, Roberts and Owen (now Bryan Cave). Bryan Cave has not only have polluted… Read more »

Reply to  Guerra
2 years ago

Personal feelings aside regarding Hinchey’s performance at USA Swimming, I don’t see anywhere in his bio that he worked at a law firm (or even attended law school).

Reply to  Coach
2 years ago

You are correct. I was mistaken. Rich Young, who was USA Swimming’s legal consultant and HRO/Cave Bryan partner, through this whole mess was on the search hiring committee that hired Hinchey. Hinchey was never a lawyer or employee of HRO or Cave Bryan. Nevertheless, Hinchey should have been terminated after his testimony to congress and then his admission in a sworn deposition last year that he didn’t know the USA Swimming Code of Conduct or that he had failed to take the Safeswim Certification. It was when I saw the video of the deposition, I realized what a buffoon he is and how incapable he is to lead USA Swimming.

Reply to  Guerra
2 years ago

I’d like to point you to this article published in 2014. Maybe before you disown people, you should dig into what has already been said…

Reply to  swimmer
2 years ago

My point exactly. Why, in 2020, are these people in leadership positions of USA Swimming and LSCs???? Nobody should be on the current board of USA Swimming, an LSC board or even a club board that served on the USA Swimming Board under Chuck Wielgus and allowed him and his inner circle perpetrate their lies and evil actions. Clubs, their members and coaches will continue to pay for his indifference and coverups of child molesters for years to come.

2 years ago

a good start

In the Know
2 years ago

Wait until the truth comes out about Mr. Allard.

Reply to  In the Know
2 years ago

I am not in the know regarding Mr. Allard’s “truth”, but whatever it is does not negate what these women experienced.

2 years ago


Reply to  BBQBilly
2 years ago

Some bad bad men out there. The time has come for them to be brought to justice. They can do no more harm !

2 years ago

Genuine question- Who should do the investigation? Does this fall under the USOPC SafeSport Center? USA Swimming SafeSport? USA Swimming Board of Review? Independent investigation?

2 years ago

Old news

Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
2 years ago

What an insensitive comment!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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