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  • French Figure Skater Faces Renewed Inquiry


    07/01/20

    The skating rink where both Cipres and the minor female skated. (Tampa Bay Juniors)
    (ATR) Sexual abuse allegations against Olympic pairs skater Morgan Cipres have been reopened in Pasco County, Florida.

    An unidentified 13-year old female figure skater made allegations against Cipres in 2017. Cipres allegedly direct messaged sexually explicit photos via Instagram. 

    The minor skated at the same rink with Cipres in Wesley Chapel, Fl. During a phone interview by USA Today Cipres declined to discuss the allegations stating, “I cannot talk with you about anything about that. I mean, I have nothing to say about this allegation.”

    Authorities were contacted December 30, 2017 by psychologist Dara Bushman after learning of the incident by the skater. Bushman tells USA Today “I wanted to make sure the child was safe."

    USA Today obtained emails in which The U.S. Center for SafeSport conducted an investigation on the allegations last year. The minor’s family also alleged they were threatened by Cipres’ coaches 2002 Olympian John Zimmerman, and Italy’s 2002 and 2006 Olympian Silvia Fontana. According to the family, Cipres was 26 at the time of the incident and training for the 2018 Winter Olympics with his partner Vanessa James.

    Zimmerman and Fontana tried to prevent them from reporting the incident to law enforcement or SafeSport by shaming and threatening the minor, the family says.

    The sheriff’s office did not initially pursue Cipres, due to the fact the minor was traumatized by the incident and declined to discuss it with authorities upon learning of the allegations.

    On July 9, the French Federation of Ice Sports disciplinary committee, will meet to determine punitive actions against Cipres.

    Reported by Greer Wilson

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