DETROIT – A longtime U.S. figure skating coach accused of sexual abuse has been banned for life by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, a watchdog for U.S. Olympic sports organizations, according to NBC News.
Richard Callaghan, known for helping Tara Lipinski earn 1998 Olympic gold, and has now been ruled permanently ineligible for violations, including alleged sexual misconduct involving a minor.
Callaghan can still appeal the sexual misconduct violation.
Callaghan was first suspended in March 2018 while an investigation was conducted into allegations made against him more than 20 years prior. Earlier this month, former skater Adam Schmidt filed a lawsuit accusing Callaghan of sexually abusing him for two years beginning when he was 14.
Callaghan was an employee at an ice skating rink in Rochester, Michigan, according to the lawsuit. He was allowed to coach minors at the rink, which is where he allegedly abused Schmidt.
"Today's announcement is a major victory for all who've suffered abuses by the former legend of figure skating, Mr. Callaghan," Schmidt told WDIV. "Now he will forever be known as the predator who delivered medals to a corrupt organization who accepted them in exchange for the safety and protection of children. US Figure Skating created that culture of abuse that lasted decades and today is the first of many victories to come in reversing that. US Figure Skating is officially on notice."
"While performing these duties, (Callaghan) violated his role as a coach, sexually violated the Plaintiff, and used his position of authority and power over the Plaintiff," the lawsuit alleges.
In 1999, Craig Maurizi, a former student and later assistant to Callaghan, alleged that he had experienced inappropriate sexual conduct with Callaghan beginning when he was 15 years old. Callaghan denied the allegations.