Robert Griswold, a U.S. Paralympic gold medalist swimmer, is being accused of grooming and raping an intellectually disabled teammate, a civil lawsuit filed in Colorado alleges.
According to the lawsuit, Griswold allegedly abused now-19-year-old Parker Egbert during the Tokyo Paralympic Games and at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Egbert is “significantly more vulnerable to abuse” having suffered from developmental delay and intellectual disability.
According to the suit, Griswold was assigned to be Egbert’s supervisor and the two shared a bedroom together in Tokyo.
“This case is a horrific tragedy, where a young man who defied all odds to become a world-class Paralympic swimmer had his life utterly shattered by rape and abuse when he was paired with a team member who was a violent sexual predator,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit also states that Egberg has “suffered severe physical injuries, pain and suffering, and extreme mental and emotional distress.”
The family of Egbert is claiming the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) did nothing to stop the alleged abuse. The lawsuit claims the Committee and ‘SafeSport’, a non-profit aimed at preventing abuse, had received previous reports of Griswold sexually assaulting other teammates.
The USOPC shared a statement explaining that it has placed two staff members on administrative leave while also stopping the work of several contractors with U.S. Paralympic swimming.
According to SafeSport, Griswold is temporarily suspended and has been since August.