Sean Hutchison Accused of Sexually Abusing Olympian Ariana Kukors When Underage

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2018

United States' Ariana Kukors competes in a women's 200-meter individual medley swimming heat at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Monday, July 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

Former United States Olympic swimming coach Sean Hutchison has been accused of sexually abusing former Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors when she was underage.

According to Levi Pulkkinen of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a Homeland Security Department task force searched Hutchison's home Tuesday in search of digital evidence that he sexually exploited swimming students.

Per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com), Kukors told police Hutchison began abusing her when she was 16 and that he took nude photos of her when she was 17.

Now 28, Kukors explained the reasoning behind coming forward more than a decade after she says the abuse started, according to Pulkkinen:

"I never thought I would share my story because, in so many ways, just surviving was enough. I was able to leave a horrible monster and build a life I could have never imagined for myself. But in time, I've realized that stories like my own are too important to go unwritten. Not for the sake of you knowing my story, but for the little girls and boys whose lives and future hangs in the grasp of a horribly powerful and manipulative person. That they may not have to go through the same pain, trauma, horror, and abuse. That their parents, mentors, and guardians are better able to spot the signs of grooming and realize it’s tragic consequences before it's too late."

Kukors said Hutchison began grooming her for sexual purposes at a young age, and she is now concerned that he is doing something similar with other young swimmers.

The 46-year-old Hutchison resigned as a Team USA swimming coach in 2010 after rumors surfaced that he was romantically involved with one of his swimmers, per Amy Shipley of the Washington Post.

Hutchison continues to coach, however, as the CEO of King Aquatics.

Kukors said Hutchison took "hundreds or thousands" of sexually explicit pictures of her while she was a minor, and she said he sexually assaulted her both during trips and training sessions.

Now retired, Kukors competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and she won world championship gold medals in both the 100-meter medley and 200-meter medley.

Homeland Security spokeswoman Lori Haley told Pulkkinen the investigation involving Hutchison is in the "very preliminary stages."

Hutchison is suspected of possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor but has not been charged with a crime.