This is a follow-up to this January 19 post.
In January of this year, U.S. Figure Skating was rocked when former pairs skater John Coughlin - a two-time U.S. champion - committed suicide only one day after SafeSport (which investigates allegations of everything from bullying to sexual abuse) suspended him from participating in the sport in any capacity, pending an investigation.
As SafeSport only investigates in order to remove someone from professional athletics for the safety of others in the sport, they immediately closed the investigation upon Coughlin's death. This angered a number of his friends in skating as well as some fans, who have been vocal on social media that they feel he was unfairly branded and now his name will never be cleared.
But one of Coughlin's former partners, Bridget Namiotka, responded to a post that defended him on Facebook today by writing “I’m sorry but John hurt at least 10 people including me. He sexually abused me for 2 years. Nobody innocent hangs themself [sic].”
She continued in a second post: “Someone that’s innocent doesn’t hang himself. Think about the victims when you’re speaking up for what he did to at least 10 girls.”
“Think about all of the girls he hurt,” said a third message and finally, in a fourth message: “Grooming happens. It happened to me and he hurt a lot of girls. Think about the victims.”
Namiotka was first paired with Coughlin in 2004 when she was 14 and he was 18. Their partnership lasted 3 years, and they won three medals on the Junior Grand Prix series before splitting up. Coughlin went on to win his U.S. championships with two different partners, Caitlin Yankowskas in 2011 and Caydee Denney in 2012.