Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors has come forward with shocking allegations against her former coach.
Kukors, who was a member of the 2012 Olympic team, says her coach, Sean Hutchison, sexually abused her for years, beginning when she was a teen.
“He took my Olympic dream from me,” she tearfully told Inside Edition. “I am shattered inside. I was 16 years old when this man started putting his hands on me. And I had never had sexual activity till that point.”
Kukors says that what he did was “unforgivable,” and says she is speaking out now because “I want it to be safer.”
Now 28, she claims Hutchison “groomed” her by often isolating her from the rest of the team.
“The abuse lasted for so long,” she claimed. “Private morning practices, me showing up 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time, abusing me in the locker room, watching me shower and after that then have to jump into the pool and swim.”
Kukors says he forced her to send explicit photos of herself on a daily basis.
“I had to send him naked pictures of myself every day,” she said.
She said he had a strong hold on her, adding, “As painful and as horrible as this is to say out loud, it needs to be said because he violated me.”
The former Olympic coach has not been charged with a crime, but last week, Homeland Security raided his Seattle apartment looking for thousands of explicit photos of Kukors according to a search warrant obtained by Inside Edition. Hutchinson denies Kukors allegations.
“At no time did I ever abuse Ariana Kukors or do anything with her that was not consensual,” Hutchison said in a statement. “I absolutely deny having any sexual or romantic relationship with her before she was old enough to legally make those decisions for herself. Prior to that time, I did nothing to ‘groom’ her.”
She said that if the coach was sitting in front of her today, she would ask him, “Why me?”
Her allegations come just a week after Inside Edition first shared the story of another young swimmer, Laura Weiss, who says her coach began molesting her when she was a freshman in high school.
“I considered suicide many times and I can’t imagine all the other girls that are probably feeling the same way,” Weiss told Inside Edition.
Weiss is not alone; Inside Edition has found more than 100 coaches who have been banned for life from USA Swimming over sexual abuse or misconduct.
“Regrettably, it is not unique,” Kukors’ attorney Robert Allard told Inside Edition. “Swimming is particularly vulnerable to pedophiles coming in, getting access, gaining trust and then eventually something more sinister.”
Kukors says USA Swimming should have done more to protect her from Hutchison after they received a complaint about him in 2010.
“I was so moved seeing the women of U.S. gymnastics, person after person, staring at their abuser and speaking their truth in their loudest voices and for me I hope it inspires so many people to understand that their voice is loud and it is heard,” said Kukors.
USA Swimming sent Inside Edition a statement saying this is the first they’ve heard of allegations of abuse by Hutchison when Kukors was a minor.
They said that in 2010, they investigated a rumored relationship between then-21-year-old Kukors and her coach, but both parties denied any romantic or sexual relationship. They say their hearts go out to her and they fully support her in her case for justice.