Categories: Sports

Olympic Medallist Wagner Alleges Figure Skater Coughlin Assaulted Her

Ashley Wagner competes in the Ladies Short Program during the 2013 Prudential US Figure Skating Championships at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska.  JONATHAN DANIEL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

 

Olympic bronze medallist Ashley Wagner revealed Thursday she was sexually abused by John Coughlin, the latest of several figure skaters to accuse the former US skater of assault.

In a first-person account published by USA Today, Wagner, 28, said Coughlin assaulted her in June 2008 when she was 17.

Coughlin, who committed suicide in January after an investigation into multiple abuse allegations against him was confirmed, was 22 at the time.

Wagner said Coughlin assaulted her after climbing into bed with her, kissing and groping her without permission following a party for team-mates.

“I was absolutely paralyzed in fear,” Wagner told the newspaper.

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Coughlin, who denied the assault allegations before taking his own life, stopped and left the room after Wagner told him to leave.

“I now know that regardless of the events of that night, I got into that bed thinking I was safe to just fall asleep. He was the one who took away that safety,” Wagner wrote.

“I went into that house just wanting to have fun with my friends. He was the one who shattered all of that,” added Wagner, a bronze medallist at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

In May, Coughlin’s former partner Bridget Namiotka revealed she had also been abused by the skater.

Namiotka, who partnered Coughlin in pairs between 2004 and 2007, when she was aged between 14-17, said she was one of several athletes to be targeted by the skater.

“I’m sorry but John hurt at least 10 people including me,” she wrote.

“He sexually abused me for 2 years. Nobody innocent hangs themself.”

AFP

Ignatius Igwe

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