Olympic champion Deena Deardurff-Schmidt was in San Jose today discussing personal allegations of sexual abuse by her former coach and allegations against USA Swimming. Deardurff-Schmidt was a gold medal winner in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. Ed Vasquez, a spokesman for the Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard law firm in San Jose, said Deardurff-Schmidt discussed the culture within the swim world and her personal experience of being molested by her former swim coach repeatedly over a period of four years starting at the age of 11.”She is someone who is validating our story that there is a problem in the swim world, because she has experienced it first hand,” Vasquez said.He said Deardurff-Schmidt is mentioned in a complaint filed Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court by attorney Robert Allard as someone who has an understanding of this world while she was a swimmer. Allard filed the amended lawsuit against USA Swimming, the governing body of competitive swimming in the U.S., Pacific Coast Swimming in Contra Costa County, Andrew King, a Bay Area swim coach convicted of felony child molestation who in January was sentenced to 40 years in prison, and San Jose Aquatics, which employed King.The lawsuit, initially filed in August 2009, seeks monetary damages for one of King’s victims, a 14-year-old female swimmer in San Jose. King turned himself in to San Jose police on April 2, 2009, after an initial complaint was made to the Police Department about inappropriate relations with the girl. Copyright © 2010 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.
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