U.S. Olympics, taekwondo stars Jean and Steven Lopez accused of sex trafficking in lawsuit - Caesarscircuit.com


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Tuesday, 8 May 2018

U.S. Olympics, taekwondo stars Jean and Steven Lopez accused of sex trafficking in lawsuit


Less than four months after renowned sports physician Larry Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for decades of sexual abuse, the U.S. Olympic Committee is once again being accused of ignoring reports of sexual assault at the expense of female athletes.
Four women have filed a federal lawsuit accusing Olympic taekwondo gold medalist Steven Lopez and his brother, former Team USA coach Jean Lopez of assault, rape and other sexual misconduct. The four women trained with the Lopez brothers.
The class-action lawsuit also accuses the USOC and USA Taekwondo of sex trafficking, claiming the organizations were aware of the Lopez brothers' alleged actions but allowed them to sexually abuse the plaintiffs and numerous other young women, sending them back to competitions and practices.
Speaking with CNN, attorney Rex Sharp compared the USOC to "a pimp."
Steven Lopez celebrates winning gold in the men's under 80 kg Taekwondo at the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games. (Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Sharp is one of three lawyers representing the four women named in the lawsuit, along with 44 similarly situated Jane Does who have yet to be identified
"Much like a pimp who traffics women for money, the USOC was trafficking its athletes to known sexual abusers for money and medals," Sharp told CNN.
Two-time Olympic taekwondo champion Steven Lopez has been temporarily suspended while the U.S. Center for SafeSport resolves a case against him involving sexual misconduct allegations.
Jean Lopez (l.) is a longtime Olympic taekwondo coach. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
Jean Lopez is appealing a pair of violations for sexual misconduct that resulted in a permanent ban; one of the cases involved a minor.
Last June, USA Today reported that two women had accused Steven Lopez of sexual assault. Lopez denied the allegations.

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