Olympic swimmer says she wants to save others from sex abuse
NEW YORK (AP) — Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors said in an emotional interview today her former coach "stole so much" from her in the decade she alleges he sexually abused her starting when she was a minor.
Kukors, 28, told The Associated Press she can't get the time back but she can speak out so others recognize the signs of people grooming others for abuse or similar misconduct.
"If I save one person who's currently being groomed. If I have a dialogue with one parent about something that they think is alarming with their child and their coach. If I could do that, this is worth it – as painful as it is," Kukors said through tears in New York.
Kukors alleges Sean Hutchison, who began coaching her at a swim club near Seattle, groomed her for sexual abuse when she was 13, started touching and kissing her when she was 16 and engaging in sexual activity when she was 17. The Seattle-area native also told authorities he took thousands of sexually explicit photos of her as a minor.
Hutchison, 46, a former Olympic assistant coach, has denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime. Federal and local investigators searched his Seattle apartment last week for computers and other devices.
An email to Hutchison's Seattle attorney seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.
"At no time did I ever abuse Ariana Kukors or do anything with her that was not consensual," he said in a statement last week. "I absolutely deny having any sexual or romantic relationship with her before she was old enough to legally make those decisions for herself. Prior to that time, I did nothing to 'groom' her."