Jamie Reidy comments on news that a group of former gymnasts have come forward thirty years later with allegations against Doug Boger.
CNN reporter Casey Wian reports that a group of former gymnasts charge their former elite level coach in Pasadena with rape and abusive behavior at practice.
By talking now, these women — now in their 40s and 50s — say their main focus is not necessarily to bring more charges against Boger. Rather, they want to make sure that no other girls, from here on out, have similar stories.
Julie Whitman, a former USA National Team member, said she began spearheading the effort after, about six years ago, she discovered that Boger was “still coaching.”
This kind of revelation is becoming all too familiar.
But the girls’ parents, in their efforts to make their daughters’ dreams come true, made a disastrous decision to relinquish access to the gym:
Most parents had no idea what was happening, partly because they’d signed a waiver that barred them from attending practices.
Say what?! You let somebody demand unsupervised time with your young girls? I don’t care if the guy is Obi Wan Kenobi and he promises to make her a Jedi; an adult doesn’t demand alone time with my child.
The most controversial part of this CNN story involves a man who would become the most powerful politician in Southern California:
In a different incident, Kathy Riordan, daughter of former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, recalled seeing a teammate, naked and running out of Boger’s bed during one road trip. She told her father, who called the teammate’s parents — only to be told that they “wanted to keep it quiet.”
“But I did bring Doug Boger down to my office,” Richard Riordan said. “And he denied everything.”.[***]
***FOLLOW UP (Wednesday April 4, 2012 4:26 EST):
Kathy Riordan has been in contact with The Good Men Project and would like to clarify the information that CNN has shared about the role of her father, former Mayor of Los Angeles, Richard Riordan. Kathy wrote:
Upon discovery of Boger’s crimes, my father called Doug to his office for a meeting with the US Attorney. After confronting Doug, my father was instrumental in having him released from the coaching program at my school (where he also taught) and continued to pursue criminal prosecution with law enforcement. Sadly, the victim’s parents opted not to get involved and prosecutors decided the child victims would not make good enough witnesses to obtain a conviction.
In addition he also called the parents of the Flairs gymnasts to warn them all about Doug
It saddens me that this important piece of information was left out of CNN’s story, leaving viewers, like you, to believe Doug Boger just got a “stern talking to.” My father did everything in his power to get him prosecuted and I am forever grateful that he did his part and more.
I hope that you make this correction or remove your inaccurate portrayal of a man who did what very few did back then.
Photo by: eviltomthai