U.S. figure skating coach Richard Callaghan was declared “permanently ineligible” for sexual abuse by the U.S. Center for SafeSport for “sexual misconduct involving (a) minor.”
The ruling came down Wednesday on Callaghan, who guided Tara Lipinski to the 1998 Olympic gold medal and Todd Eldredge to the 1996 world championship along with six national titles.
Adam Schmidt, 34, a former skating student of Callaghan’s, filed a lawsuit against the famed coach about two weeks ago in San Diego for alleged sexual abuse of him over a three-year period starting in 1999 when Schmidt was 14.
U.S. Figure Skating, the sport’s national governing body, and Onyx Ice Arena in Detroit, where Callaghan taught Schmidt, were also named in the suit.
The alleged sexual abuse took place after the USFS dismissed sex abuse claims in in 1999 by Craig Maurizi, now 56, that Callaghan had inappropriate sexual contact with him 23 years earlier.
They went on to have a sexual relationship for the next 10 years, Maurizi told USA Today in 2018.
SafeSport and the USFS acted against Callaghan then, suspending the coach.
The USFS should have banned Callaghan much sooner, however, said John Manly, Schmidt’s attorney.
“This should have been done in the 90s when USFS first knew,” Manly said in a text message to USA TODAY Sports. “It’s good news but small comfort to those Callaghan hurt. Clearly this move is in response to the horrible press USFS received in response to Adam Schmidt’s filing. You shouldn’t have to file a lawsuit to protect kids from child molesters in Olympic sports.”
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