Olympic bronze medalist figure skater Ashley Wagner says she was sexually assaulted by former Unites States skater John Coughlin, according to ESPN.
Wagner, 28, becomes just the latest figure skater to make an accusation against Coughlin, saying she was 17 when Coughlin, then 22, climbed into bed with her, kissed her, and groped her without her consent, according to USA Today Sports.
“I was absolutely paralyzed in fear,” Wagner said, in a first-person article posted on USA Today, adding that after several minutes she grabbed Coughlin’s hand and told him to stop, at which point he left the room.
“I now know that regardless of the events of that night, I got into that bed thinking I was safe to just fall asleep. He was the one who took away that safety,” Wagner wrote. “I went into that house just wanting to have fun with my friends. He was the one who shattered all of that.”
Coughlin committed suicide back in January of this year, a day after he received an interim suspension from the United States Center for SafeSport and United States Figure Skating for unspecified conduct.
Wagner detailed her accusation to the United States Figure Skating back in February. She said that Coughlin never discussed the incident again.
“What happened to Ashley should not happen to anyone, period,” USFS spokeswoman Barbara Reichert told USA Today in a statement. “Ashley is incredibly strong; not just to have the courage to come forward with her story, but to share her experience publicly to help others.”
“I didn’t really genuinely process what this was until the start of the #MeToo movement,” Wagner wrote.
“Hearing other women come forward with their stories, it kind of made me reflect on this experience in a completely different manner. I had always felt violated but something within that movement really showed me that I was violated and I did have my safety and comfort taken away from me that night.”