Stockton Swim Coach Pleads Guilty In Sexual Abuse Case

Stockton swim coach Shunichi Fujishima has pleaded guilty in his criminal sexual abuse case. He will face a sentencing hearing on October 7.

Fujishima was previously listed as the head coach and CEO of the Stockton Swim Club, though the club’s website is no longer online. He was arrested in January and charged with 9 criminal counts, including the commission of lewd acts upon a child, unlawful sexual intercourse and possession of child pornography. It’s unclear which charges Fujishima pleaded guilty to, but Stockton newspaper The Record reports that Fujishima “is expected to receive 12 years in prison, of which 85 percent must be served.”

A female swimmer says Fujishima sexually abused her multiple times, beginning while she was 12 years old. That’s according to a civil suit filed against Stockton Swim Club, the Pacific Swimming Local Swim Committee, and USA Swimming. USA Swimming was added as a defendant over the summer. The girl also accuses Fujishima of grooming behavior including staying with a minor in a hotel during a travel meet, referring to her with pet names and provocative massaging and stretching on the pool deck.

The attorney in that case, Bob Allardreleased the following statement in response to Fujishima’s guilty plea: “Now that the criminal case is over and justice obtained against this predator, it is now time to hold USA Swimming civilly responsible for failing to protect yet another minor swimmer. “

9
Leave a Reply

2 Comment threads
7 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Stan Crump

Yikes! “Now that the criminal case is over and justice obtained against this predator, it is now time to hold USA Swimming civilly responsible for failing to protect yet another minor swimmer. “

Brian M

Yep. Bobby is going to ride in this rodeo for years to come. He has found quite the lottery ticket and is more than willing to take the reins of justice (for 50% of the award of course).

Big Fan

Ya sue USA swimming, so we can all pay for it in our membership fees?

James

Seems like a critical lack of oversight on the part of many people in this very unfortunate situation. Someone should have cuaght and stopped this coach long before it progressed this far, especially based on the highly suspect behavior taking place as he groomed her (staying in same hotel room, numerous one-on-one unsupervised interactions, etc.

Not a huge fan of lawsuits, but sometimes they are the only way to bring about real change in organizations.

Snarky

Where were mom and dad on that? And the club? So many red flags.

Brian M

Exactly. There should be child neglect charges filed against the parents.

Jeff

No no. No personal responsibility. Just the deep pockets please. Far more reasonable for an organization hundreds of miles away to be responsible for oversight, not the parents and board members for the actual club.

Coach

Swim coach response to this- Do not blame the parents. Remember that Larry Nassar had victims’ parents in the room while he abused them. I don’t know the facts in this scenario, but I don’t think we should be quick to assume the parents knew that the coach and child stayed in the same room.

I am not sure a family truly fully recovers from a situation like this, and blaming the parents (without knowing any facts) is not the right thing to do.

Brian M

Parent and swim coach response. If you allowed your child to stay in a hotel room with an adult man at a travel meet, share inappropriate messaging, pet names, and stretching on deck, and you had no clue to any of this, then you are guilty of some sort of neglect, because you were sure as hell not paying a lick of attention.

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 …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!