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Jancy Thompson Sues Coach, USA Swimming Over Alleged Abuse

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By Jason Beahm on August 12, 2010 12:58 PM

A lawsuit alleges that USA Swimming coach Norman Havercroft sexually abused, harassed and humiliated a female teenage swimmer for over five years. The lawsuit, brought by Jancy Thompson against the coach, West Valley Swim Club and Pacific Swimming alleges that the abuse began when she was about 15 years-old, beginning in the 1990s. The suit further alleges that Havercroft abused another female swimmer and that USA Swimming was aware of the abuse and did not fire Havercroft. Further, Thompson alleges that she witnessed Havercroft touch and massage several other underage females in an inappropriate manner.

Jancy Thompson is 28 now, has graduated from the police academy and focuses on gang intervention for a nonprofit organization. "I was robbed of my childhood and never performed to my full capabilities," she said, the Associated Press reports. "I want to ensure that no one has to endure what I went through and carry such a burden the rest of their lives."

The lawsuit alleges that coach Havercroft groped Thompson, engaged in sexual acts, sent pornography and purchased a web cam to film and record cyber sex. USA Swimming is reportedly investigating the accusations, which allegedly took place in Santa Clara County, including the homes of Thompson and Havercroft, as well as at school, the AP reports. USA Swimming has been rocked by allegations of abuse cases and has been attempting to clean house. At least 46 coaches and official have been banned for life, largely for sexual misconduct, the AP reports.

The suit also claims Havercroft abused another female and says USA Swimming knew about that case and did nothing to remove Havercroft from his position. It also says Thompson witnessed Havercroft inappropriately touch and massage several underage females.

According the Jane Weil, attorney for USA Swimming and Pacific Swimming, the organization do not have knowledge of unlawful conduct" by the coach. Further Weil stated that the San Jose Police and the Santa Clara County district attorney investigated claims of abuse by another female and did not issue any charges.

USA Swimming has come under fire for its handling of alleged abuse cases but has said it was taking steps to keep young athletes safe. At least 46 coaches and officials have been banned for life, mostly for sexual misconduct.

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