Former competitive figure skater Adam Schmidt has filed a lawsuit against U.S. Olympic coach Richard Callaghan, alleging he repeatedly sexually abused him from 1999 to 2001, beginning when he was just 14 years old.
This isn’t the first time Callaghan has been accused of sexual abuse. In 1999, Craig Maurizi, another former skater, said Callaghan sexually abused him from 1977 to 1986. He first filed a grievance in 1999 that included statements from other people who claimed they were abused by Callaghan.
Callaghan denied Muarizi’s claims and the federation dismissed his grievance.
The federation’s decision to dismiss the grievance, according to Schmidt’s lawsuit, let Callaghan’s alleged abuse of Schmidt to continue unabated.
“[U.S. Figure Skating], knowing full well of the allegations of sexual misconduct, failed to investigate, failed to warn [Schmidt] of these prior bad acts, and did nothing to inhibit [Callaghan’s] access to minor children under his tutelage or those who were present at the events he attended,” the lawsuit said. “Despite this litany of sexual abuse and misconduct complaints made against [Callaghan], [Callaghan] remained in good-standing [with U.S. Figure Skating] until 2018.”
Schmidt said that he only found out that Callaghan had been accused of sexual abuse in the past when Maurizi’s claims received media attention last year.
“How did this happen? Why 20 years ago did everyone know and do nothing?” Schmidt said. “Because if they would have done something then … I never would have been abused.”
Schmidt said that the abuse started when he was at the Detroit Skating Club and escalated at Onyx Ice Arena. He said Callaghan started touching him inappropriately on the ice and then continued in his office.
“The visits to his office after my lessons on the ice started to become a lot more frequent,” Schmidt said. “And then they started to become a lot more graphic.”
“I am demanding that we have an independent investigation into all of these allegations,” Schmidt said. “I can’t sit back and allow that to happen without people hearing what I have to say and really thinking twice about doing that for the safety of their children.”