Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images

The banishment comes 12 days after figure skater Adam Schmidt filed a lawsuit alleging Callaghan sexually abused him.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
August 21, 2019

Longtime U.S. figure skating coach Richard Callaghan has been declared "permanently ineligible" by the U.S. Center for SafeSport for violations including sexual misconduct involving a minor, USA Today's Christine Brennan reported on Wednesday.

Callaghan, best known for helping Tara Lipinski earn her 1998 Olympic gold, was first suspended in March 2018 pending an investigation into allegations first made against him more than 20 years ago. The banishment comes 12 days after Adam Schmidt, a 34-year-old former skating student of Callaghan's, filed a lawsuit in San Diego alleging Callaghan sexually abused him from 1999 to 2001. The U.S. Figure Skating Association and a Michigan ice skating center are also identified as defendants in the lawsuit.

In a statement released Wednesday, U.S. Figure Skating said it also "has made Richard Callaghan permanently ineligible, in compliance with the policies and procedures of the U.S. Center for SafeSport. This action follows Callaghan’s March 6, 2018, suspension of membership."

Callaghn was previously accused of sexual misconduct in a New York Times article in April 1999 by Craig Maurizi, one of his former students and later his assistant. Maurizi said Callaghan engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with him in 1976 when Maurizi was 13, and later initiated a full sexual relationship with Maurizi when he was 18. Callaghan denied the allegations.

Schmidt's lawsuit said U.S. Figure Skating said it reviewed the allegations raised in the article, but dismissed them because Maurizi had not filed a grievance within 60 days of the alleged incident.

Maurizi detailed those allegations in a report filed with SafeSport on Jan. 31, 2018, leading to Callaghan's suspension on March 6. USFS followed suit and suspended Callaghan as well. 

"I feel finally vindicated,” Maurizi said Wednesday, per The New York Times. "This guy’s a monster. This man has ruined the lives and careers of many people. I believe he should be punished to whatever extent is possible."

Schmidt added in a statement to the Times that the ban was a "major victory" for skaters who had been abused by Callaghan.

"Now he will be forever known as the predator who delivered medals to a corrupt organization who accepted them in exchange for the safety and protection of children," Schmidt said.

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