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 Allard, released 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. “