By now you would think big institutions would stop using their crushing power to silence victims of their employees who are pedophiles. But no. If you have some power, prestige, or a little dough, you can make shit go away–or at least string out the investigative process while you continue to sexually abuse.
Seventy-four-year-old freak posing as an elite American figure skating coach, Richard Callaghan, was recently named as a defendant in two civil lawsuits alleging he subjected victims to years of sexual abuse. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/20/sports/olympics/richard-callaghan-figure-skating-abuse.html; https://www.wxyz.com/news/man-accuses-former-figure-skating-coach-of-sexual-abuse-names-two-metro-detroit-skating-centers.
This freak began abusing boys in the 1970s, which if you get anything from this blog you should be well-aware was a very good decade for pedophiles (especially in Michigan). There were numerous complaints made over the decades, but US Figure Skating and the Professional Skaters Association “were more concerned with covering up their own knowledge of and complicity in Callaghan’s abuse than holding Callaghan accountable for his gross abuse of his power as a coach and protecting young figure skaters from abuse.” https://abcnews.go.com/US/skater-sues-coach-federation-alleged-sexual-abuse-coverup/story?id=71871705.
One lawsuit was filed in New York under the New York Child Victims Act, signed into law last year by Governor Andrew Cuomo. This act, which should be the law in every state in the nation, gives survivors of sexual abuse a chance to sue adults whom they accuse of abusing them years ago. Of course the POS Callaghan has filed for bankruptcy (after getting his lifetime suspension from coaching reduced to three years). The plaintiff in the first lawsuit described his motivation: “I need for Richard Callaghan to be stopped. I’m committed to stop giving him the opportunity to abuse anyone else.”
The second lawsuit was filed in California, where Callaghan sexually victimized a skater he was coaching during a figure skating competition. This boy was also victimized while Callaghan was working at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield, Michigan and The Onyx, in Rochester, Michigan. https://www.wxyz.com/news/man-accuses-former-figure-skating-coach-of-sexual-abuse-names-two-metro-detroit-skating-centers. Callaghan came to the Detroit area in 1992 and is apparently now living the life in Naples, Florida. Let’s hope the Detroit Skating Club and The Onyx proceed forthwith with a “comprehensive investigation” of how this predator managed to victimize while on their payrolls.
This guy should be going to prison AND settling these two civil lawsuits. And there are surely other victims. Why should it be this difficult?
The lawsuit is the latest chapter in a fight for accountability that has already spanned more than two decades. Maurizi’s allegations against Callaghan have been the subject of confidential investigations, media reports and legal proceedings, and they have been repeatedly corroborated and even, most recently, validated by the independent watchdog organization responsible for eradicating sexual misconduct in the Olympic Movement.
Yet this man, “who has faced multiple allegations of sexual, physical and emotional misconduct from the elite skaters he coached, will be eligible to return to the ice in 2022, after his lifetime ban from the sport was controversially overturned by an arbitrator.” (Id.). Filed for bankruptcy but I bet he has enough dough to cover his legal defense in these two civil suits. Someone should investigate how he moved his assets around prior to filing for bankruptcy.
In other recent news, I was happy to see that Michigan AG Dana Nessel is appealing the dismissal of charges against former MSU president Lou Anna Simon. Simon was charged with lying to investigators about her knowledge of former MSU sports medicine doctor and now convicted felon Larry Nassar. https://www.freep.com/story/news/2020/07/20/michigan-attorney-general-michigan-state-msu-former-president-appeal-lying-larry-nassar/5472027002. Simon, who was president of MSU from 2005 to 2018, claimed to know nothing about the hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse by Nassar until she read the Indy Star’s 2016 article about Nassar. Another instance of the press having to do law enforcement and big institutions’ jobs.
Lawsuits against Nassar and MSU allege officials there had been receiving reports of Nassar’s abuse since 1999 and complaints date back much further than that. Apparently these reports never made it to the Ivory Tower until, surprise!, El Presidente read the Indy Star. Read Simon’s resignation letter and see if you see anything about the institutional reforms needed at MSU or the welfare of the students she was entrusted to serve: https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2018/01/25/lou-anna-simon-resignation-letter-msu/1067001001/.
I’m sure Simon is well-liked, a “distinguished professor,” and primarily a “principled person,” but I think the words “complicit enabler” apply and take away from those lovely labels. MSU was fined $4.5 million by the US Education Department for their “disgusting and unimaginable” violations of the Clery Act (a federal law requiring colleges to collect data on campus crime and notify students of threats). https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/05/larry-nassar-sexual-assault-michigan-state-university-fined. MSU has paid over $500 million to the 333 or more victims of Nassar during the first wave of civil litigation. MSU denied wrongdoing and offered little insight as to who knew what when. https://www.mlive.com/news/2018/02/who_knew_what_when_about_larry.html.
Who knew what when–always complicated with the inevitable lies. “I don’t recall.” “I never heard the name Busch.” I don’t remember the name Busch ever coming up.” That file “doesn’t have my fingerprints on it.” “I don’t remember anyone filing complaints about a 250 lb, short, bearded slob whose dad was a CFO with GM for flashing or lewd photographs or attempted abductions.” “I don’t remember a guy killing himself at his parents’ upscale Bloomfield Village home and there being a drawing of a screaming boy who looked an awful lot like victim Mark Stebbins, ligatures and a neatly placed shotgun shell on his desk.” Complicit enablers and liars. Add that to your golden resumes, your careers that were never tainted as they should have been. Take that with you to the other side.
Who knew what when. Complicit enablers in the OCCK case knew enough, early enough, to not only prevent one or more of the abductions but to bring this impossibly nasty and corrupt case to some kind of closure decades before one of the loose cannons involved in the cover up eventually fucked up. Robertson, Krease, Patterson and Thompson did a lot to make sure no one could prove who knew what/anything when/ever. The current prosecutor then did more to protect the person with loose lips and her old defense attorney friend than the community she is charged with protecting. Oakland County will never outlive its awful legacy, brought about not only by monsters who roamed freely there but also by the inept, shameful way the investigation was conducted and closed–(but wait, it’s still open! You can’t see those files . . . ).
All of these people are really good at only one thing: Spin. How do you ensure an investigation like the OCCK “investigation” never happens again? Just hope for the best? Get over it? I’m sure that’s what the US figure skating establishment hoped when they passed Richard Callaghan along to the next skating club willing to take anyone who could produce winners. And I’m sure that’s what the OCCK task force higher ups thought back when Busch got offed and the killing stopped.