Bridget Namiotka, a former skating partner of deceased figure skater John Coughlin, has taken to social media to say that Coughlin had sexually abused her for two years, according to ESPN’s Dan Murphy.
Namiotka skated with Coughlin from 2004 through 2007, when she was between the ages of 14 and 17 years old. Coughlin was 5 years older that Namiotka.
Coughlin won a national championship prior to becoming a coach and then a popular television commentator for figure skating.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport suspended him amid allegations of sexual misconduct and not long after, in January 2019, Coughlin committed suicide. SafeSport dropped their investigation of Coughlin following his suicide, but people from the Professional Skaters Association and United States Figure Skating have requested, on multiple occasions, that SafeSport reopen the investigation to provide some sort of resolution for the parties involved.
SafeSport stated, via a spokesperson, that the requests were declined because it couldn’t make a ruling without the accused party, Coughlin, available to defend himself.
Namiotka posted numerous messages on her Facebook page, most of which have been changed so that only a select group of people can now read the messages, including a post that read; “He sexually abused me for 2 years. Nobody innocent hangs themself.”
“Grooming happens,” she wrote. “It happened to me and he hurt a lot of girls. Think about the victims.”