Robert Griswold charged with sex abuse in Colorado trial

Paralympic swimming champion Robert Griswold charged with sexual abuse in Colorado trial

A lawsuit has been filed against the US Paralympic swimmer Robert Griswold, who accused him of sexually abusing a younger Paralympic teammate. The lawsuit, filed in Colorado on Friday, alleges that Griswold “maliciously assaulted” a mentally challenged teammate, according to a CNN story and other reports.

“This case is a horrific tragedy in which a young man who defied all odds to become a world-class Paralympic swimmer had his life shattered through rape and abuse when paired with a team member who was a violent sex offender “, the lawsuit states.

According to that Denver Gazette, the lawsuit also alleged that the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the United States Center for SafeSport covered up the abuse. Griswold, a Paralympic champion, was temporarily suspended by the US Center for SafeSport in August over “allegations of misconduct” and added to the SafeSport database.

According to the lawsuit, Griswold allegedly abused the 19-year-old parkers Egbertwho has suffered from developmental delays and mental retardation throughout his life, making him “significantly more vulnerable to abuse” during the Tokyo Paralympic Games and at the US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center (OPTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The CNN report describes how Griswold “made a concerted effort to ‘befriend’ [Egbert]At the June 2021 Paralympic Trials and Games, Griwsold “ensured that Egbert was always ‘sat next to him and had unattended access for extended periods’ on plane and bus rides”. this behavior and allowed it to continue.” In December 2021, after Egbert won three events at the US Paralympic Championships, he was invited to live and train at OPTC and he and Griswold became roommates. The abuse intensified during this time, and when Egbert’s parents voiced their concerns, “USOPC declined to respond to the issue,” according to the lawsuit (via CNN).

“Robert Griswold is the devil to me,” Egbert wrote in a letter, according to the USOPC Denver Gazette. That gazette Egbert also told his parents that he was afraid Griswold would kill him, the lawsuit added. Eventually, Egbert had to make “the difficult decision to abandon his lifelong dream” of paralympic swimming.

The lawsuit also alleges that Griswold had a pattern of grooming potentially vulnerable athletes as victims.

“Griswold used his status in the Olympic and Paralympic swimming community to conduct a systematic pattern of abuse in which he sought out and nurtured at-risk athletes, particularly underage and disabled Paralympic athletes who reside and train at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado.” , according to the lawsuit.