French champion figure skater accused of sexually abusing 13yo US female athlete
The world-renowned athlete Cipres, who was preparing for the 2018 Olympics together with partner Vanessa James, reportedly sent pictures of his penis to the girl, whose identity has not been revealed.
According to USA Today Sport, a coach at the Advent Health Center Ice rink, Vinny Dispenza, had asked the girl and her teammate (another underage girl) to message Cipres asking him to send the photos in exchange for a pizza promised by Dispenza.
The skater sent two revealing photos from his verified Instagram account, an act which is now being investigated by SafeSport, an independent nonprofit organization which battles all forms of abuse in sport.
Cipres’ coaches John Zimmerman and Silvia Fontana were reportedly aware of the incident and tried to keep the girl’s family from reporting the abuse, as it could have negatively affected the skaters’ preparation for the Winter Games, where they finished fifth.Also on rt.com ‘Culture of sexual abuse': Senator says US figure skating needs immediate change
The coaches allegedly tried to convince the female skater that it was her fault for receiving such pictures, because she was a “pretty girl and men have their needs.”
US Figure Skating said that it “does not tolerate misconduct or abuse and encourages anyone who has been abused or suspects abuse to report it to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, local law enforcement or U.S. Figure Skating.”
Cipres and James won the European championship in 2019, becoming the second French pair to win the title since 1932.