Stephanie North, 2012 NCAA All-American, Banned For Life by USA Swimming

Former NCAA qualifier Stephanie North has been banned for life by USA Swimming.

North, who in the 2010-2011 season became one of two swimmers to earn the honor of the first Boise State swimmers ever to qualify for NCAA’s, was arrested earlier this year on a charge of “committing any lewd or lascivious acts upon or with the body or any part or member thereof of a minor child under the age of 16 including but not limited to genital-genital contact, oral-genital contact, or manual-genital contact.”

She was arrested under Idaho Statute 18-1508, which carries a mandatory state prison term not more than life, according to our contributor Ceci Christy.

Ms. North was arrested and charged in September this year and is out on bail without a trial scheduled at this time according to the Ada County District Attorney’s Office.  The allegations were made by a third party unrelated to either Ms. North or the victim, but who claims to have witnessed several inappropriate meetings between Ms. North and the victim over the course of several months.  Further investigation revealed the alleged sexual contact by Ms. North upon the victim on numerous occasions.

North was banned on the basis of three different sections of the 2013 code of conduct:

304.3.6 Conviction of, imposition of a deferred sentence for, or any plea of guilty or no contest at any time, past or present, or the existence of any pending charges, for (i) any felony, (ii) any offense involving use, possession, distribution or intent to distribute illegal drugs or substances, (iii) any crime involving sexual misconduct, or (iv) any criminal offense against a minor.

304.3.8  (A) Any inappropriate sexual conduct or advance, or other inappropriate oral, written, visual,

or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed towards an athlete 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).

304.3.18 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.

Among the clauses she was banned for was one allowing a permanent ban for “the existence of any pending charges” for a felony, which would seem to be a fairly easy hurdle to clear en route to a ban.

North was the 2009 WAC Champion in the 100 free, the first individual conference champion in the history of a young Boise program, and was an honorable mention All-American at the 2012 NCAA Championships as part of a 200 free relay.

North is the 93rd individual on USA Swimming’s public  permanently banned for life list. The ban officially took place on September 25th.

A phone call to a number listed for North was met with no answer. USA Swimming confirmed that North was an athlete member from 1994 until her ban in September.

Comments

  1. bossanova says:

    WTF

  2. billy says:

    Sounds like it’s guilty until proven innocent. What is the accuser is lying? It’s happened before.

    P.S. I do not know or have ever met Ms. North

  3. SwimMa says:

    There must be some pretty strong evidence or I don’t think USA swimming would have made this decision before a trial was held. Hope that if it did turn out to not be true, the ban would be lifted.But I am glad that USA swimming is taking things like this seriously. It is hard to believe that anyone with such a promising future would throw it all away like this.But it is good that someone is taking it seriously and making sure the child is safe.
    So sad that this has happened.

  4. Bossanova says:

    I for one am glad USA Swimming is acting swiftly and harshly. All too often when a woman is the perpetrator in a crime of this nature, they are punished far less severely than a man would be.

    • Peterdavis says:

      I never thought of it that way. You know, as a man, I really am a victim. All these women coming around, using their physical dominance and their centuries of culturally-engrained and societally-fostered superiority to have sexors with teenage boys. Won’t somebody think of the men here. *dramatically faints*

      • Bossanova says:

        The fact of the matter is that society judges a male who commits these crimes far more harshly than a female. I’m far from a men’s rights activist. That is just the simple truth. I’m not at all saying that men have it worse than women overall. I actually think in the vast majority of ways it is easier to be a guy in our patriarchal society.

  5. Sam says:

    Same thing happened in Socal back in May. A 23 year old female coach and a 16 year old male swimmer. An adult affiliated with USA Swimming heard the rumors and told the entire high school swim team that the coach would be suspended and she had to report it to the police and USA Swimming. Supposedly the boys father didn’t want action taken. This coach is still listed on the high school and club websites.

  6. Kirk Nelson says:

    I was curious how many people on USA Swimming’s banned list are women, so I checked the list. By my count there are seven women (including North) out of 93 total.

  7. Peterdavis says:

    Is every person on the banned list guilty of misconduct with a minor? In the case of at least one of those listed, I was under the impression he was banned for felony DUIs. Seems there should be some effort to distinguish between coaches who are a danger to the kids, and coaches who are a danger to themselves.

    • Braden Keith says:

      Peterdavis – this is correct. In some cases, its financial issues (fraud, etc.). In others its drugs or alcohol. In the majority, its sexual abuse.

      USA Swimming does, on its list, put a link to the section of the code that explains why they’re banned. I can see why they maintain one list (there’s likely some legal issues surrounding “different lists,” but it is unfortunate for some of these people that they’re on the same list. Felony DUI I have little sympathy for, but someone who commits small scale financial fraud…is not in the same class of criminal as someone who abuses children, in my opinion.

      • Peterdavis says:

        Yep no question that DUIs are reprehensible, but I agree that of the list of crimes we are dealing with, child abuse is on a different level. I sent a letter to USA Swimming when he was first added to the list, guess it just is what it is. Couldn’t imagine being on this list as an embezzler. Doesn’t seem right to be publicly grouped with pretty well-known pedophiles.

        • Responder says:

          I wonder, would you change your mind if you knew the embezzling includes abuse of power over children (like recruiting your swimmers to participate in the scheme and threatening them if they refuse)?

  8. Queeny says:

    She has had a lot of success which means there could be a lot of people that are jealous of her and willing to lie to take her down. I think she should be presumed innocent, until the full story is known. It could all be lies.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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