USA Skateboarding's Neal Hendrix Suspended Amid Allegations He Molested Teen

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2018

Neal Hendrix, 30, Redondo Beach, Calif., practices on the half pipe Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2003 in Cleveland. Gravity Games will consist of bike, freestyle motocross, inline skating, skateboarding and wakeboarding. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
TONY DEJAK/Associated Press

USA Skateboarding placed executive committee member Neal Hendrix on interim suspension Wednesday amid allegations that he had improper sexual contact with an underage skateboarder.

According to ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk, 25-year-old professional skateboarder Julie Lynn Kindstrand Nelson alleged that she performed sex acts on Hendrix upon his request when she was between the ages of 14 and 15.

Hendrix, who is now 45, was in his early 30s at the time of the alleged abuse.

Per Roenigk, Kindstrand Nelson detailed the allegations in a six-page letter to the Costa Mesa Police Department in California on Oct. 11 before also providing the letter to espnW, the U.S. Center for SafeSport, the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Hendrix is now under investigation by the Costa Mesa Police Department.

In the letter, Kindstrand Nelson wrote that Hendrix "masturbated in front of her, photographed and took videos of her while she was naked and showed her pornography involving underage girls."

She went on to write that Hendrix began bringing her back to his apartment for what he called "sex lessons" after meeting her at a California skatepark in 2006 and becoming her skateboarding mentor.

"I wanted to make sure that everybody in the skateboarding community is aware of what's going on," Kindstrand Nelson said. "For so long, so many people turned a blind eye."

She also offered a word of warning to young girls in sports:

"My experience with Neal was very traumatic. It has taken me several years to process what happened to me and many more years to find the courage to stand up and say something. I hope that other young girls who dream of being competitive athletes do not suffer the same fate. As young athletes, girls are very susceptible to sexual predators."

Kindstrand Nelson turned pro in 2007 under the name Julz Lynn, and she is planning to continue competitive skateboarding.

During her career so far, she most notably won bronze in skateboard park at the 2013 X Games.

Hendrix began skateboarding professionally in 1991, winning five career X Games medals.

Currently, Hendrix is the worldwide brand manager for action sports company Camp Woodward, but he has been placed on administrative leave amid the investigation by Costa Mesa police and SafeSport, an organization that helps sports entities with handling allegations of sexual abuse.