Darien figure skating coach accused of raping young girl: lawyers

DARIEN, Ill. (WLS) — Because he has not been criminally charged, ABC7 will not be naming the figure skating coach in question.

We can tell you that part of the reason this lawsuit has been filed is in the hopes others will come forward.

Allegations of sexual misconduct in U.S. figure skating at all levels are not new. On Tuesday, they hit home as attorneys for the parents of a young girl, who took lessons in west suburban Darien between 2016 and 2018, came forward with accusations of rape.

“Our minor client was raped by her ice-skating coach. Her parents feel as though they were dropping their child off at the lion’s den,” said Hale & Monico Attorney Allison West.

In order to protect her privacy, the alleged victim is named in the lawsuit only as Julia Doe. The complaint targets not just the accused coach, but the academy that hired him, as well as other coaches present during practice sessions held at Darien’s Sportsplex, which is named in the suit.

“If limiting the one-on-one interactions between adult coaches and minor athletes had occurred this would not have happened to our client,” said Hale & Monico Attorney Kelly Olivier. “There was inappropriate touching and contact that went contrary to the protocols and procedures to touching minor athletes in a sport like U.S. figure skating.”

And while the family did go to police sometime towards the end of 2021, criminal charges were not filed.

A spokesperson for the DuPage County state’s attorney issued a statement, saying, “Following a thorough investigation into these allegations, the decision was made not to pursue criminal charges as we would not be able to meet our burden of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

“We’ve spoken with them and they indicate that if there are additional individuals that were to come forward it is something they would take a second look at to see if they could bring charges,” West said.

A complaint they say has also been filed with the U.S. Center for Safesport, the watchdog agency that responds to complaints in Olympic sports. The agency will not comment, but attorneys said the investigation is pending.

“This really is the family’s last resort. They have done everything they possibly can to advocate for their daughter,” Olivier said.

Legal Counsel for the Darien Park District would not comment on the lawsuit but did release a statement saying, in part, “The safety of the patrons and staff are of the utmost importance to the Darien Park District.”

ABC7 reached out to the accused figure skating coach for a response, but have not received one. While there is no timeline on a U.S. Center for Safe Sport’s investigation, they said if any investigation results in disciplinary action, it will be made public on their online database.


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