New sexual abuse lawsuit filed against USA Swimming and Indiana Swimming
INDIANAPOLIS — A lawsuit has been filed against USA Swimming, Indiana Swimming and the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township (Marion County, Indiana Superior Court) for their failure to take action on complaints made about their certified swim coach, Christopher Wheat, and for sexual abuse and assault against a then 14-year old female swimmer that resulted from that inaction.
In the lawsuit, the victim states she was sexually abused by Wheat on at least three occasions in 2009, leading to his arrest and conviction. The lawsuit documents that USA Swimming and Indiana Swimming had two separate opportunities to stop Wheat before he molested the young victim and potentially other young athletes. The lawsuit states one year before Jane Doe was molested by Wheat, her mother notified Indiana Swimming about Wheat’s inappropriate sexual relationship with another of his minor female swimmers. Despite the notification, Indiana Swimming ignored the complaint and told her to take the complaint to Wheat’s swim club.
The lawsuit also states that USA Swimming allowed Wheat to be hired as head coach in the 2006-2007 time frame despite the fact that Wheat had resigned from the same club in the 2001-2002 time period following complaints by numerous swimmers of Wheat’s sexually inappropriate behavior.