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U.S. figure skating coach Callaghan started abusing in Buffalo, lawsuit alleges

Was coach of Olympian Tara Lipinski
Posted at 11:11 AM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 19:06:34-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A celebrated U.S. figure skating coach dogged by allegations of sexual abuse started abusing a boy when he ran the Buffalo Skating Club in the 1970s, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court.

"Craig Maurizi, a onetime Olympic hopeful turned Olympic coach, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against famed figure skating coach Richard Callaghan and a trio of skating institutions, including U.S. Figure Skating, the sport’s national governing body," according to a report by ABC News Investigates.

Callaghan has been accused of sexual abuse before by Maurizi and another boy. He was banned from coaching for life in 2019 by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, but was later reinstated by an arbitrator.

The new lawsuit filed under New York's Child Victims Act states that Callaghan, while he was Maurizi's coach in Buffalo, groomed him and started abusing him at age 14.

The lawsuit states that at the Buffalo Skating Club, "a Zamboni driver walked in on Callaghan molesting a student and made a complaint to a member of BSC’s Board of Directors, but no action was taken and the complaint was buried."

Callaghan's abuse was "an open secret" in the U.S. figure skating community but "much like the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, BSC did nothing to stop Callaghan, but merely passed him along to the next skating club looking for a coach who could produce winners. They did nothing to protect the skaters, including Craig, who were being abused by Callaghan."

Callaghan went on to coach in the Olympics, becoming Tara Lipinski's coach when she won the gold medal in the 1998 Olympics in Japan.

A message seeking comment at the Buffalo Skating Club was not returned. Callaghan, who was coaching in Florida until 2018, has repeatedly denied the allegations. Click here to read the lawsuit.