Paralympian accused of raping teammate
A 63-page lawsuit unveils details
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A gold medal Paralympian is facing accusations in a lawsuit that he raped a teammate. Police are investigating swimmer Robert Griswold, but no criminal charges have been filed.
In the lawsuit, obtained by 11 News, the family of a Paralympic swimmer claims the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, based in Colorado Springs, didn’t do anything to stop the abuse. Attorneys in the lawsuit said a young man with autism who defied all odds to become a world-class Paralympic swimmer had his life shattered.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court. It claims 25-year-old Robert Griswold began “grooming” a now 19-year old athlete in June of 2021, during the Paralympic trials. According to the lawsuit, the victim has the mental capacity of a 5-year-old.
In the documents, the accuser’s attorneys said when the two traveled to Tokyo for the Paralympic games, Griswold was assigned to be the victim’s supervisor by the U.S.O.P.C. and shared a bedroom.
According to the lawsuit, that is where the alleged sexual abuse began.
The lawsuit claims the committee and “SafeSport” received previous reports of Griswold sexually assaulting other teammates but did not prevent him from rooming or supervising the victim.
SafeSport is a Colorado-based non-profit, aimed at preventing abuse.
In a statement, the accuser’s attorneys said, ”Rules are in place to protect vulnerable athletes like the accuser, but the rules are useless if the organizations won’t follow them.”
The lawsuit claims the alleged abuse happened as recently as August of this year, at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center.
In a statement, U.S.O.P.C. said, “We’ve made the decision to place two staff members on administrative leave and have also stopped the work of several contractors with U.S. Paralympics swimming.”
According to “SafeSport’s” disciplinary database, Griswold is temporarily suspended as of August.
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