KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One of the former skating partners of two-time U.S. pairs champion John Coughlin has accused him in a series of Facebook posts of sexually assaulting her over a two-year period.
Coughlin, who killed himself in January, “hurt at least 10 people including me. He sexually abused me for 2 years. Nobody innocent hangs themselves,” wrote Bridget Namiotka, who skated with Coughlin from 2004, when she was 14, through the 2007 season.
Namiotka’s attorney confirmed to The Associated Press the comments were made by her.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport and U.S. Figure Skating had begun investigating allegations lodged against Coughlin late last year. They found enough evidence to warrant an interim suspension earlier this year, barring Coughlin — who had become a coach and well-known TV commentator after retiring from skating — from attending activities sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Coughlin, who had maintained his innocence throughout the investigations, was found dead Jan. 18 at his father’s home in Kansas City, Mo. He was 33.