New Jersey ice skating coach faces sexual contact charges, Ice House suspends coaching privileges

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Sylvia

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https://www.northjersey.com/story/n...rew-lavrik-accused-sexual-contact/2501995002/
A Hackensack man, employed as an ice skating coach, is accused of sexual contact with a minor, authorities said Monday.
Andrew Lavrik faces criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.
On Dec. 10, Edgewater police said they received a report Lavrik “engaged in inappropriate conduct with a minor” within the borough in November, the Prosecutor's Office said.
It wasn’t until Thursday that the Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and Edgewater police arrested Lavrik in Paramus, authorities said. The 32-year-old remains in police custody pending a detention hearing.
... The general manager at the Ice House, Robert Bakos, said Lavrik was an independent contractor there.
"As of his arrest, Andrew Lavrik is no longer permitted to use any of these facilities," Bakos said. "We suspend any of his coaching privileges at the Ice House."
Jan. 7th press release from The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office: https://www.bcpo.net/press-releases...ontact-and-endangering-the-welfare-of-a-child
... LAVRIK was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing scheduled for Monday, January 7, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.

Acting Prosecutor Calo states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and would like to thank the Edgewater Police Department for its assistance in this investigation.
 
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Frau Muller

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I can't keep track of coaches, so I Googled Lavrik to find out who he coaches. Only came up with the Browns. This has got to be awful for his students, even those who haven't been victimized by him. :(

Two in one week. Under investigation...innocent until proven guilty...but, still, quite troubling trend. “SafeSport” is anything but.
 

millyskate

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I can think of one case where Safesport conducted a lengthy investigation only for the charges to be dropped entirely and the coach cleared (Alex Naddour)
So it does happen, albeit rarely.
 
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Debbie S

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^^This. If USFS has enough evidence on whatever they have to apply these sanctions, the sanctions should be public. At the very least, skaters who are considering working with him should know that his availability/participation will be restricted for certain kinds of activities.
USFS posts a list of banned and suspended members on its website (and sends them to clubs hosting comps), but it's not obvious to find. You need to go to the Clubs page, click on SafeSport, and then click on the list. And the list does not include Lavrik or John Coughlin, who is under interim restriction. There used to be a list posted of all the coaches and their compliance status on the Coaches page, mainly to guide clubs as to which of their coaches had achieved compliance (annual certification, insurance, etc), but it would also indicate which coaches had a 'red light'. For some reason, the list was moved to the restricted, Members Only section of the website so you need to log in to see it, and it's a bit convoluted...I had to go to the SafeSport page and then search for a link to "download report." And Lavrik (I didn't check Coughlin) is still green-lighted as of 5 minutes ago. :rolleyes:

@5Ali3 can you explain what these sanctions mean for Morozov's students who aren't USFS members?
Likely nothing. USFS can't control who rinks allow to coach on their own sessions (i.e. not club sessions, where the ice is bought/run by the resident club) or which non-U.S. skaters he coaches at ISU comps. If he receives an official ban from USFS, that might prevent him from getting credentialed at an ISU event, I'm not sure what the ISU policy is in that situation. If Morozov were arrested and convicted of abuse, then he would likely be banned from any job or facility where children are present.
 

overedge

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USFS posts a list of banned and suspended members on its website (and sends them to clubs hosting comps), but it's not obvious to find. You need to go to the Clubs page, click on SafeSport, and then click on the list. And the list does not include Lavrik or John Coughlin, who is under interim restriction. There used to be a list posted of all the coaches and their compliance status on the Coaches page, mainly to guide clubs as to which of their coaches had achieved compliance (annual certification, insurance, etc), but it would also indicate which coaches had a 'red light'. For some reason, the list was moved to the restricted, Members Only section of the website so you need to log in to see it, and it's a bit convoluted...I had to go to the SafeSport page and then search for a link to "download report." And Lavrik (I didn't check Coughlin) is still green-lighted as of 5 minutes ago. :rolleyes:

I looked at the SafeSport website and it lists Coughlin but not Lavrik. I entered "figure skating" in the "sport" box here:
https://safesport.org/userviolations/search

If he receives an official ban from USFS, that might prevent him from getting credentialed at an ISU event, I'm not sure what the ISU policy is in that situation.

That's part of what I was wondering. If he's banned by USFS from coaching at ISU events, does that mean he's banned from coaching any skaters at those events, or just USFS members?
 

GarrAargHrumph

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I remember Andrew Lavrik from rinks where I've skated. I don't know him beyond that, though.
 

Blades-o’Glory

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Great news! Lavrik is being released today! Prosecutors office failed to provide evidence against him. Judge not only released him, but also did not pose any conditions on continuing his employment!!!!!!!! Meaning the judge didn’t see any problem if Andrew continued to teach. Ice house, shame on you for not standing by your coach.
 

overedge

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Great news! Lavrik is being released today! Prosecutors office failed to provide evidence against him. Judge not only released him, but also did not pose any conditions on continuing his employment!!!!!!!! Meaning the judge didn’t see any problem if Andrew continued to teach. Ice house, shame on you for not standing by your coach.

The rink's job is to protect its skaters and provide a safe environment for them. IMO the rink's management did the right thing by suspending him while charges were pending.

Also, it's not the judge's decision whether the rink, SafeSport, and/or USFS can put conditions on a coach's employment.
 

Debbie S

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Great news! Lavrik is being released today! Prosecutors office failed to provide evidence against him. Judge not only released him, but also did not pose any conditions on continuing his employment!!!!!!!! Meaning the judge didn’t see any problem if Andrew continued to teach. Ice house, shame on you for not standing by your coach.
Source?
 

VGThuy

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A lot of Parents went to the court to testify for Andrew. I got a text from one of them.

If he's truly innocent, then I'm glad the charges are dropped. But I just want to say the above proves nothing. Nassar had a lot of people supporting him too saying there's no way he could have done what he did because he didn't do it to my daughter/me. I can't make a true judgment either way since there's like no information about who came forward, what did they come forward with, etc.
 

centerpt1

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I wonder what the interim restrictions actually are on Coughlin. How would a parent know?

It will be interesting to see if he still does commentary, and keeps doing seminars while being investigated.

I hope Figure Skating doesn't become Gymnastic cover up 2.0
 

Blades-o’Glory

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And since you are brand new here, what is your connection to the coach? Obviously, pretty close to have gotten a text from a parent.
Ice house is not a big rink and you get to know a lot of people when you go there regularly. so, yeah, I know the coach and pretty much the story was obvious to most of skating crowd here. I support the coach on this, so was happy when I heard that he was released. Just wanted to post here too to stop the bashing of the coach. He actually asked this student to stop coming to his lessons over a month ago.
 

overedge

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Ice house is not a big rink and you get to know a lot of people when you go there regularly. so, yeah, I know the coach and pretty much the story was obvious to most of skating crowd here. I support the coach on this, so was happy when I heard that he was released. Just wanted to post here too to stop the bashing of the coach. He actually asked this student to stop coming to his lessons over a month ago.


The coach was charged with criminal offenses. Your definition of "bashing" is a little inaccurate.
 

libecha

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This article says nothing about charges being dropped. Only that he was released after a detention hearing "pending further court action." That certainly doesn't sound like charges have been dropped, only that he's not being held without bail.

I personally know someone who has been charged with two counts of rape, assault, and violating a restraining order, and they have been out on their own personal recognizance since August. Trial is at the end of this month.
 

Willin

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A lot of Parents went to the court to testify for Andrew. I got a text from one of them.
Hahaha Yeah because eyewitness testimony and character statements are known for being so accurate. Maybe he was released (as in not in jail while awaiting trial), but I've seen nothing about dropped charges.

The coach was charged with criminal offenses. Your definition of "bashing" is a little inaccurate.
Seriously! They don't bring these charges without some darn good evidence. There are literally thousands of sexual assaults that go untried or uncharged every year due to lack of evidence or even with evidence due to the "he said she said" aspect.
I think he should still get a fair trial and isn't necessarily guilty, but I'm just saying if they're charging him there has to be more to this - maybe physical evidence or suspicious behavior on camera. They wouldn't just drop it due to parents saying he's a good person.

I wonder what the interim restrictions actually are on Coughlin. How would a parent know?



It will be interesting to see if he still does commentary, and keeps doing seminars while being investigated.



I hope Figure Skating doesn't become Gymnastic cover up 2.0
I personally think USFS should send a notice out to the club or rink when an investigation happens. Usually there's rumors well in advance, but I think skaters and parents should know if a coach is suspended. Not even necessarily because we should presume them guilty, but rather because it affects the skaters ability to be coached in USFS sanctioned competitions, tests, club sessions, USFSA-sanctioned rink session, and shows. They don't even have to say what the accusation is, just a little: "This individual is temporarily suspended from USFS activities due to an ongoing investigation."
 

Kasey

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Having met this person once when he was still skating, I am hoping that the charges are not true. But I am not going to believe anything, one way or another, because in my years I've learned that atrocious behavior is possible even from the least likely subjects. So I'll just wait until the justice system decides, and hope the decision is the correct one.
 

VGThuy

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This article says nothing about charges being dropped. Only that he was released after a detention hearing "pending further court action." That certainly doesn't sound like charges have been dropped, only that he's not being held without bail.

I personally know someone who has been charged with two counts of rape, assault, and violating a restraining order, and they have been out on their own personal recognizance since August. Trial is at the end of this month.

Thanks for finding that. That makes so much more sense than what the other poster was saying. In NJ, unless someone is like a repeat offender or a danger, then almost everyone gets released without bail since the state is going through bail reform (bail bonds and such being critiqued).
 

5Ali3

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I personally think USFS should send a notice out to the club or rink when an investigation happens. Usually there's rumors well in advance, but I think skaters and parents should know if a coach is suspended. Not even necessarily because we should presume them guilty, but rather because it affects the skaters ability to be coached in USFS sanctioned competitions, tests, club sessions, USFSA-sanctioned rink session, and shows. They don't even have to say what the accusation is, just a little: "This individual is temporarily suspended from USFS activities due to an ongoing investigation."

When a member is suspended, U.S. Figure Skating *does* send a notice to clubs in the vicinty of where the coach resides. In addition, interim suspensions are posted on the U.S. Figure Skating website with a brief explanation. When a coach is suspended, PSA sends an email blast to every PSA member notifying them of the suspension. The PSA suspended Andrew Lavrik this afternoon. By reciprocity, that means he is suspended from U.S. Figure Skating as well. U.S. Figure Skating does not update the website immediately. (They are absurdly slow about updating anything on the website. I don't know why.) The Center for SafeSport database is updated every few days in the morning.

I have mixed feelings about notifications for every investigation. It doesn't seem fair if someone is innocent and cleared quickly. At the same time, there are several investigations that have been going on for months and I have serious concerns about the safety of coaches' other students: even if a skater isn't being sexually abused, being in an environment where a skater is being abused or being alone with a coach who grooms skaters can be very damaging. I believe those parents have a right to know that an investigation is happening. But where is the line between the first situation and the second one? Who determines it? How can we make those determinations without the benefit of hindsight?

Don't forget that in the thread about Coughlin, there's someone saying they hope Coughlin sues the [bad word] out of whoever reported him and offering to start a gofundme to pay for it. Ignoring that federal law prohibits suing someone for a good faith report to SafeSport - that's the kind of reaction that anyone who reports a well-liked coach to SafeSport is going to receive. (There's often worse vitriol to be found in one's own rink from the parents and students of the reported coach.) There's safety to be found in waiting to expose victims to that ugliness until there's some level of finding (in the form of interim measures) by the Center or U.S. Figure Skating.
 

Sylvia

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When a coach is suspended, PSA sends an email blast to every PSA member notifying them of the suspension. The PSA suspended Andrew Lavrik this afternoon. By reciprocity, that means he is suspended from U.S. Figure Skating as well.
Thank you for posting this info. Click on the link under Resources titled "Notice of Banned and Suspended Coaches" for confirmation that Lavrik was added on Jan. 7th ("... suspension of Mr. Lavrik’s PSA membership and liability insurance is warranted, effective immediately and will remain in effect until the conclusion of all legal and/or disciplinary action against him."): https://skatepsa.com/bylaws-ethics
 
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Frau Muller

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TSL just posted (reposted) a link to the Lavrik story. No mention of charges being dropped. Just the start.

https://dailyvoice.com/new-jersey/h...h-charged-with-sexually-abusing-child/746565/

All of this reminds me of the 1998/99 FOX TV tabloid special “On Thin Ice” - a bunch of stories on the sleazy side of skating...from the allegations vs. Callaghan (though not named on the show; accuser Maurizi interviewed)...to Lisa Ervin on eating disorders...to Chris Bowman’s substance problems (he was still alive & interviewed)...to Katarina Witt’s stalker. That was 20 freakin’ years ago. Problems continue, sad to say.
 

Sylvia

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I looked at the SafeSport website and it lists Coughlin but not Lavrik. I entered "figure skating" in the "sport" box here:
https://safesport.org/userviolations/search
Lavrik's name is listed in the SafeSport database as of today, Jan. 8. with the status of "Ineligible."

USFS' Grievances page has been updated as of 1/7/2019 (it must have been late because when I checked last night the date at the top was still Nov. 7, 2018) and under PERSONS SUSPENDED PENDING FINAL HEARING PANEL OR U.S. CENTER FOR SAFESPORT DETERMINATION is "Andrew Lavrik – suspended January 7, 2019" [no explanation].
 
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MacMadame

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And how some people celebrate it as some sort of sign of alpha masculinity and success or whatever.
OTOH, there is also the issue of posters deciding what another person was thinking when they have no way of knowing that. Let's stick to what is known and we see and hear with our own eyes. Not what we imagine based on a coach looking at his skater in the Kiss 'n Cry.
 

VGThuy

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OTOH, there is also the issue of posters deciding what another person was thinking when they have no way of knowing that. Let's stick to what is known and we see and hear with our own eyes. Not what we imagine based on a coach looking at his skater in the Kiss 'n Cry.

You have to admit that was some strong imagery. That poster should be a writer.
 
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