Home Feature News Olympic bobsled medalist information lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by chiropractor employed by USA Bobsled | CNN

Olympic bobsled medalist information lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by chiropractor employed by USA Bobsled | CNN

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Olympic bobsled medalist information lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by chiropractor employed by USA Bobsled | CNN

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CNN
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Aja Evans, an Olympic bobsled athlete who received bronze on the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Video games, has filed a lawsuit alleging she was sexually abused by a chiropractor who was working with the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.

Chiropractor Jonathan Wilhelm, in addition to the USA Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and Wilhelm’s private follow in Montana, Professional Chiropractic, are named defendants within the go well with, which was filed Wednesday in a New York state court docket.

Aja Evans spoke before the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

In line with the submitting, Evans alleges Wilhelm repeatedly sexually harassed and sexually assaulted her underneath the guise of athletic medical care whereas she was a member of the USA Bobsled workforce, beginning in 2012.

“This lawsuit just isn’t solely to spare different athletes from the predatory conduct of Mr. Wilhelm, who continues to follow sports activities medication, but in addition to carry USA Bobsled and the USOPC accountable for his or her function in enabling my abuser and neglecting the wellbeing of their athletes,” Evans says in a information launch offered by her attorneys.

“Dr. Wilhelm denies the detestable claims in opposition to him,” Ryan Stevens, an Arizona-based lawyer representing Wilhelm, mentioned in an electronic mail to CNN. “He has not but had the chance to defend any of those baseless claims in court docket or by the litigation course of, however he’ll. Dr. Wilhelm has reputably served and guarded skilled athletes all around the world. Dr. Wilhelm appears ahead to vetting these unfounded claims and can pursue all authorized avenues to guard his skilled fame.”

The court docket submitting says Wilhelm “touched and groped Ms. Evans’ genitals and physique in contravention of any relevant medical requirements.” Moreover, the go well with alleges Wilhelm “was reported for recording video of and photographing Ms. Evans and others with out their permission and in numerous states of undress throughout therapy classes and previous to competitors on the USOPC coaching facility in Lake Placid, New York.”

“Throughout Plaintiff’s remedies with Defendant Wilhelm, Defendant Wilhelm would, underneath the guise of offering therapy, expose and contact her internal genital space and internal groin,” the lawsuit states. “Defendant Wilhelm at all times discovered causes to work on or round Plaintiff’s adductor muscle mass, regardless of no complaints of points particular to this space. It was well-known among the many athletes handled by Defendant Wilhelm that he would at all times discover a motive to ‘go for the adductor.’”

In line with the lawsuit, Evans “had not skilled any groin pressure or groin ache that will necessitate undue consideration to or therapy within the adductor or groin space.”

The lawsuit says the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Bobsled “knew or ought to have identified that Defendant Wilhelm had a historical past of sexually inappropriate conduct with athletes, and had dedicated acts of sexual assault and invasion of privateness in photographing athletes with out their consent, and that Defendant Wilhelm posed important dangers to the athletes on their groups and of their applications, together with Plaintiff.”

The lawsuit additionally alleges Evans and her teammates tried to have Wilhelm eliminated on account of their very own reported discomfort and issues with him.

However the court docket submitting says complaints raised by the plaintiff and her teammates “have been wholly ignored” and USOPC and USA Bobsled nonetheless selected the defendant to supply care to the US Girls’s Bobsled workforce, “generally as the one therapy supplier,” regardless of “clear complaints of regarding conduct and discomfort by athletes.”

CNN has reached out to the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee for remark. The group advised USA As we speak on Thursday it hadn’t acquired a replica of the go well with and added: “We take athlete security and each allegation of abuse very significantly. The USOPC stays dedicated to making sure the protection and wellbeing of Crew USA athletes, and we’re taking each step to determine, report, and eradicate abuse in our group.”

Wilhelm’s firm Professional Chiropractic, in an electronic mail to CNN, declined to remark.

The lawsuit additionally claims the defendant’s “‘therapy’ of Ms. Evans mirrors the abuse perpetuated by” Larry Nassar – the ex-USA Gymnastics physician who sexually abused women for many years and is now serving successfully a life sentence in jail.

When requested in regards to the comparability of Wilhelm to Nassar, his lawyer advised CNN “It’s attention-seeking conduct and clearly designed to defame Dr. Wilhelm unfairly, somewhat than specializing in litigating the precise information in a court docket of regulation.”

When requested for remark in regards to the lawsuit, a spokesperson from the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation advised CNN: “Whereas we’re unable to touch upon the specifics of the lawsuit or any ongoing investigations, USABS condemns sexual misconduct. All these issues fall underneath the jurisdiction of the U.S. Heart for SafeSport and regulation enforcement. USABS is absolutely supportive and cooperative of all investigations carried out by SafeSport. USABS stays dedicated to selling a secure and respectful surroundings for all athletes, coaches, employees and volunteers.”

When reached by CNN concerning the case, the U.S. Heart for SafeSport mentioned the group doesn’t touch upon any particular issues to guard the integrity of its investigative course of.

Stevens confirmed to CNN he’s representing Wilhelm in a pending U.S. Heart for SafeSport matter.

“This lawsuit just isn’t solely to spare different athletes from the predatory conduct of Mr. Wilhelm, who continues to follow sports activities medication, but in addition to carry USA Bobsled and the USOPC accountable for his or her function in enabling my abuser and neglecting the wellbeing of their athletes,” Evans says in a information launch offered by her attorneys.

In November, Evans, 35, accepted a two-year suspension for not submitting a pattern throughout an out-of-competition check in March 2022.

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