The governing body of diving in the United States has recently been accused of ignoring allegations of sexual abuse. A federal lawsuit was filed against USA Diving by two former female divers. In the lawsuit, they accused coach Will Bohonyi of forcing them into sex while he worked at the Ohio State University Diving Club. Will has been on USA Diving’s banned list since February 2015 as he was found to have breached the code of conduct regulations related to sexual misconduct.
The lawsuit filed by the two divers alleges USA Diving only sanctioned Bohonyi six months after he had been fired from Ohio State when allegations were first levelled against him. It alleged that the diving body was at first reluctant to take any action. However, when another athlete came forward with similar allegations, Will was banned.
One of the women alleges Bohonyi sexually abused her in July 2014. He also forced her to have sex with him the same month when she was just 16.
“Bohonyi psychologically coerced [the woman] into believing that she was required to perform sexual services in exchange for her continued involvement in diving,” the lawsuit alleges, Scroll reported.
“He preyed on her age, vulnerability, and dreams of becoming an Olympian, and used the power structure and imbalance of power to make her believe she was required to sexually service him in exchange for her involvement in diving for Team USA.”
USA Diving issues statement
USA Diving immediately came out with a response stating it was committed to “providing a safe environment for our members.” “We take these matters very seriously,” a spokeswoman said. “USA Diving is unable to comment further at this time.”
Similar incidents had rocked the USA Gymnastics body earlier. Accusations involving Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar surfaced. He then pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting more than 250 women over a period of two-decades under the pretext of medical treatment. Consequently, he was sentenced to jail this January.
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Nimisha is an intern with SheThePeople.TV