Craig Maurizi, an American figure skating coach, recently sued his former coach, Richard Callaghan, and alleged "years of sexual abuse" by Callaghan. Maurizi is also alleging that U.S. Figure Skating; the Professional Skaters Association; and the Buffalo Skating Club did not do enough to stop the abuse.
Maurizi, now 57, states that in 1999, Callaghan, 74, started an inappropriate sexual relationship with him when Maurizi was only 14. Maurizi said the exploitive relationship continued, off and on, for several years until the two men became coaching colleagues.
According to the allegations, as Maurizi's parents were ending their relationship, Callaghan began isolating him at the Buffalo Skating Club and grooming him for what turned out to be years of sexual abuse. Callaghan gave Maurizi alcohol and showed him pornography. This escalated to sexual banter, forcible touching of Maurizi's genitals, and sexual intercourse.
In August 2019, the U.S. Center for SafeSport barred Callaghan from figure skating permanently. The ban took place after Adam Schmidt, another former skating student of Callaghan, became the fourth male skater to publicly accuse him of inappropriate behavior during a period between the early 1990s and the early 2000s.
In December 2019, the ban was reduced to a three-year suspension after Callaghan appealed his penalty to an independent arbitrator.
Callaghan is best known for coaching Tara Lipinski to an Olympic gold medal in 1998 and coaching Todd Eldredge to a world title and six national championships. Callaghan has long denied any inappropriate conduct.
According to Maurizi's lawyer, accusations of sexual abuse by Callaghan "were widely known but were willfully ignored by the skating establishment because of his success as a coach."
The lawsuit was filed under New York's Child Victims Act which was signed into law in 2019. This law allows survivors of sexual abuse the opportunity to sue adults who allegedly abused them many years ago. Jeré Longman "Prominent U.S. Figure Skating Coach Accused of Sex Abuse in Lawsuit" nytimes.com (Jul. 20, 2020).