Paralympian sues for sexual assault

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A South Carolina teenager who became a national swimming sensation when he qualified for the United States Men’s Paralympic Team in the summer of 2021 has accused Paralympic teammate and two-time gold medalist Robert Griswold of sexual assault, in a lawsuit filed Friday in district court. from Colorado. Read the full trial here. (Disclaimer: Details are graphic.) The lawsuit also names the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the U.S. Center for SafesSport for their negligence. News of an ongoing lawsuit was first reported by SwimSwam. The family of Parker Egbert, originally from Greenwood, who has autism, told WYFF News 4’s Marc Whiteman that the sexual assaults began during the Tokyo Paralympics and continued after Egbert moved to the training center Olympic and Paralympic Games in Colorado Springs, Colorado. According to the lawsuit, Parker, who is now 19, is Griswold’s most recent victim, but not his first. completely broken by rape and abuse when he was paired with a team member who was a violent sexual predator,” the trial begins. despite the fact that Griswold had previously been credibly accused of sexual assault by other teammates. It also alleges that the USOPC withheld the abuse allegations and conspired with SafeSport to “cover up the abuse allegations”. The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee released this statement about the trial on Friday evening. are extremely concerning and we take them very seriously. We made the decision to place two staff members on administrative leave and also halted the work of several contractors with US Paralympics Swimming. We are also continuing to investigate the allegations to help determine the facts, and are committed to taking appropriate action.” The US Center for SafeSport also released the following statement Friday evening. “The Center does not comment on questions seeking to protect the integrity of his investigative process.” A police report was filed and law enforcement officers conducted forensic interviews, although Griswold has not been arrested or charged with a Griswold, 25, who has cerebral palsy and competes in the S8 para-swimming rankings and broke the S8 100-meter backstroke world record in Tokyo, was temporarily suspended by the US Center for SafeSport in August in due to “allegations of misconduct.” He had previously been suspended by the same organization in 2020, also over allegations of misconduct, as reported by SwimSwam, and is working to independently resolve reports of abuse and misconduct suite for more than 11 million people throughout the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movement, according to their website. A source said Griswold’s sphere of influence on the U.S. Paralympic team stems from his helping develop the algorithm that determined who qualified for the Paralympic rosters and relay lineups. . Parker was diagnosed with autism at an early age and competed in the S14 para-swimming classification for swimmers with intellectual disabilities. The lawsuit alleges that Griswold raped Egbert so severely that rectal surgery was required. Laura Egbert, Parker’s mother, told Marc that Griswold threatened to kill her if Parker told anyone about the ongoing abuse and that she found out it only happened after reading the newspaper by Parker. entries, which included a story about “a mighty hurricane called Hurricane Robert”, which Parker called “a monster that caused ‘a terrible mess for the town of Green Meadows.'” Graywold also allegedly abused Parker at the time verbally and physically and reportedly withhold food as punishment to the point that when Laura went to the US Paralympic Center to pick up her son, she said he had lost 20 pounds. The attorneys who filed the case released this statement on Friday: “Parker Egbert filed a lawsuit today in federal court in Colorado against Robert Griswold, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the US Center for SafeSport. The action sets out serious allegations of sexual abuse by Mr. Griswold and asserts that the committees were responsible and complicit in allowing these heinous acts to occur.The facts and circumstances are detailed in the court filing and for this reason, the Egbert family will not make any statement regarding the case at As you can imagine, this ordeal has been extremely difficult for the Egbert family, as well as other victims and families who have been affected, so we ask that their privacy is respected.” Frank Salzano, of Salzano Ettinger Lampert & Wilson, LLP, and Elizabeth Kramer of Erickson Kramer Osborne LLP, attorneys for Parker Egbert and the Egbert family. Continue to report as new information becomes available.

A South Carolina teenager who became a national swimming sensation when he qualified for the United States Men’s Paralympic Team in the summer of 2021 has accused Paralympic teammate and two-time gold medalist Robert Griswold of sexual assault, in a lawsuit filed Friday in district court. from Colorado.

Read the full trial here. (Warning: the details are graphic.)

The lawsuit also names the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the US Center for SafesSport for their negligence.

News of an ongoing lawsuit was first reported by SwimSwam.

The family of Parker Egbert, originally from Greenwood, who has autism, told WYFF News 4’s Marc Whiteman that the sexual assaults began during the Tokyo Paralympics and continued after Egbert moved to the training center Olympic and Paralympic Games in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

According to the lawsuit, Parker, who is now 19, is Griswold’s latest victim, but not his first.

“This case is a horrific tragedy, where a young man who defied all odds to become a world-class Paralympic swimmer had his life completely shattered by rape and abuse when he was paired with a member of the team who was a violent sexual predator,” said the trial begins.

The lawsuit alleges that the USOPC appointed Griswold as Parker’s supervisor and a “de facto chaperone”, despite the fact that Griswold had previously been credibly accused of sexual assault by other teammates. It also alleges that the USOPC withheld the abuse allegations and conspired with SafeSport to “cover up the abuse allegations”.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee released this statement about the trial on Friday evening.

“The allegations raised by the complaint filed today are extremely concerning and we take them very seriously. We made the decision to place two staff members on administrative leave and also halted the work of several contractors with US Paralympics Swimming. We are also continuing to investigate the allegations to help us determine the facts, and we are committed to taking appropriate action.”

The US Center for SafeSport also released the following statement on Friday evening.

“The Center does not comment on questions to protect the integrity of its investigative process.”

A police report was filed and law enforcement officers conducted forensic interviews, although Griswold was not arrested or charged with a crime.

Griswold, 25, who has cerebral palsy and competes in the S8 para-swimming rankings and broke the S8 100-meter backstroke world record in Tokyo, was temporarily suspended by the US Center for SafeSport in August due to ‘”allegations of misconduct.” He had previously been suspended by the same organization in 2020, also over allegations of misconduct, as reported by SwimSwam.

The US Center for SafeSport is a nonprofit organization that was created in 2017 under the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act. , according to their website.

A source said Griswold’s sphere of influence on the U.S. Paralympic team stems from his helping develop the algorithm that determined who qualified for Paralympic rosters and lineups. relay.

Parker was diagnosed with autism at an early age and competed in the S14 para-swimming classification for swimmers with intellectual disabilities. The lawsuit alleges that Griswold raped Egbert so severely that rectal surgery was required.

Laura Egbert, Parker’s mother, told Marc that Griswold threatened to kill her if Parker told anyone about the ongoing abuse and that she found out it only happened after reading the entries. from Parker’s diary, which included a story about “a mighty hurricane called Hurricane Robert,” which Parker called “a monster that caused ‘a terrible mess for the town of Green Meadows.’

Griswold also allegedly abused Parker both verbally and physically and withheld food as punishment to the point that when Laura went to the U.S. Paralympic Center to pick up her son, she said he had lost 20 pounds.

The attorneys who filed the case released this statement on Friday:

“Parker Egbert today filed a lawsuit in federal court in Colorado against Robert Griswold, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the US Center for SafeSport. The lawsuit sets out serious allegations of sexual abuse of the part of Mr. Griswold and claims that the committees were responsible and complicit in allowing these heinous acts to occur.The facts and circumstances are set out in detail in the court filing and for this reason the Egbert family will not no statement on this at this time.As you can imagine, this ordeal has been extraordinarily difficult for the Egbert family, as well as other victims and families who have been affected, so we ask that their privacy be respected.

“Frank Salzano, of Salzano Ettinger Lampert & Wilson, LLP, and Elizabeth Kramer of Erickson Kramer Osborne LLP, attorneys for Parker Egbert and the Egbert family.”

This is a developing story, and a WYFF News 4 will continue to report as new information becomes available.


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