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Wednesday, October 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

Report: Swim coach who allegedly sexually abused Ariana Kukors Smith banned from the sport for life

In this 2010 photo, Sean Hutchison talks to swimmers in California. Ariana Kukors, an Olympic swimmer, has accused her former coach Hutchison of sexually abusing her as a minor. Hutchison has denied allegations of misconduct or that he groomed Kukors for abuse from a young age. (Associated Press)
In this 2010 photo, Sean Hutchison talks to swimmers in California. Ariana Kukors, an Olympic swimmer, has accused her former coach Hutchison of sexually abusing her as a minor. Hutchison has denied allegations of misconduct or that he groomed Kukors for abuse from a young age. (Associated Press)
By Stefanie Loh Seattle Times

According to a news report, Sean Hutchison, the swim coach whom Federal Way native Ariana Kukors Smith accused of sexual abuse, has been banned from coaching swimming for life.

The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported this week that the U.S. Center for Safe Sport has banned Hutchison from the sport after concluding its investigation into Kukors Smith’s allegations that Hutchison sexually abused her when she was a teenager.

Based out of the King County Aquatic Club, Hutchison began coaching Kukors Smith when she was 13, and the swimmer has alleged that her coach began sexually abusing her at age 15.

Hutchison, 47, has denied Kukors Smith’s allegations. In a statement released in February, he said, “At no time did I ever abuse Ariana Kukors or do anything with her that was not consensual.”

Kukors Smith, 29, went public in February with her storyalleging sexual abuse by Hutchison, and in May, she filed a civil lawsuit against USA Swimming alleging that key officials within the organization knew of her alleged sexual abuse by Hutchison but conspired to cover it up.

According to the Orange County Register, the Safe Sport investigation found that Hutchison molested Kukors Smith, had her perform oral sex on him and took nude photographs of the swimmer when she was still a minor.

The U.S. Center for Safe Sport is an independent nonprofit committed to ending all forms of abuse in sport. The organization also functions as an independent party to investigate and resolve allegations of sexual misconduct against any person within the jurisdiction of the national sports governing bodies.

“The investigator recommends that the Center find by a preponderance of the evidence that Responding Party Sean Hutchison violated the Safe Sport Code by engaging in sexual misconduct with a minor athlete whom he coached,” the Orange County Register reported according to the “conclusion” of the Safe Sport investigation report. “Hutchison’s acts all violated the applicable USA Swimming Code of Conduct, as he was Kukors’ coach during the entire time frame. In addition his acts more likely than not violated relevant statutes in Washington and California intended to protect minors from sexual misconduct by adults.”

However, the Safe Sport investigation concluded that Hutchison molested Kukors Smith at least twice and had her perform oral sex on him, among other things.

Department of Homeland Security agents interviewed Hutchison at his apartment in Seattle in February, and a Homeland Security spokesperson told the Orange County Register on Friday that the investigation into Hutchison is “ongoing.”

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