Not again (skating club official arrested for child molestation)

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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Former club president (volunteer parent), not a USFS judge or official, just to clarify.

ETA: Thanks to @PRlady for adding "club official" in the thread title.
 
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Vagabond

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The DA's office reports that Matthew Gregory Shepard, 45, asked the teenage girl for explicit photos before they tried to meet up. When he arrived at the predetermined location, he found out he was actually meeting with an officer....

Dearing said she has always thought highly of Shepard and never noticed anything suspicious. She hopes the allegations are not true.
:wall:

Someone needs to face facts.
 

MacMadame

My G.O.A.T is better than your G.O.A.T.
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30,735
He actually went to meet the girl. Of course, the allegations are true.

From the article:

District Attorney Sim Gill credited a new child exploitation task force for the arrest.

"This kind of behavior is far more prolific than what people anticipated," Gill said. "If you’re going to engage in this behavior, and you’re going to engage in it in Salt Lake County, we’re going to find you. We’re going to hunt you down. We’re going to aggressively prosecute you, and we’re going to severely punish you."
I approve!
 

overedge

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Anyone who "knows [someone] but not personally" shouldn't be commenting on these allegations. And the reporter shouldn't be asking them, or using their quotes.

I thought SafeSport automatically banned anyone who was charged with this kind of crime, until the charges are resolved. Why is this guy not on SafeSport's disciplinary database? He was charged in mid-November.
 

carriecmu0503

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308
Anyone who "knows [someone] but not personally" shouldn't be commenting on these allegations. And the reporter shouldn't be asking them, or using their quotes.

I thought SafeSport automatically banned anyone who was charged with this kind of crime, until the charges are resolved. Why is this guy not on SafeSport's disciplinary database? He was charged in mid-November.

He is not listed in SafeSport because he is not involved in skating in any way. He is merely a former club president, AKA a former volunteer. He is not a coach, judge, official, or employed by USFS federation. There would be no reason for SafeSport to list someone who is not involved in the sport in any way.
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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This thread title is more up to date & specific.

It's good to know USFS suspends club volunteers, including past presidents.
 

overedge

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But still not on SafeSport, which AFAIK is supposed to include suspensions by governing bodies:
 

5Ali3

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He is not listed in SafeSport because he is not involved in skating in any way. He is merely a former club president, AKA a former volunteer. He is not a coach, judge, official, or employed by USFS federation. There would be no reason for SafeSport to list someone who is not involved in the sport in any way.
This is wholly inaccurate: anyone who is a USFS member at the time they are arrested for a sex crime or a crime against a minor is eligible to be banned by the Center for SafeSport and those who are "covered individuals" are required to report.

Also, a club president - especially the president of the Salt Lake City club - is certainly "involved in the sport," quite deeply, and it's insulting to club volunteers and/or ignorant of how involved club volunteers are in figure skating to say that a club president "is not involved in the sport in any way."

I thought SafeSport automatically banned anyone who was charged with this kind of crime, until the charges are resolved. Why is this guy not on SafeSport's disciplinary database? He was charged in mid-November.
SafeSport doesn't look for people to ban: they only ban people who are reported to them. Shepard's arrest wasn't reported to U.S. Figure Skating until today. The Center for SafeSport is taking several weeks to add criminal arrests to their database.
 

5Ali3

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488
This thread title is more up to date & specific.It's good to know USFS suspends club volunteers, including past presidents.
Anyone who is a USFS member at the time they are arrested for a sex crime or a crime against a minor is eligible to be banned by the Center for SafeSport and those who are "covered individuals" are required to report. More generally speaking, every U.S. Figure Skating agreed to abide by the Code of Ethics and falls under the jurisdiction of Ethics Committee (who suspended Shepard today) and Grievance Committee.

About half of the individuals banned/suspended by U.S. Figure Skating are club volunteers, typically banned for embezzling from their club.

But still not on SafeSport, which AFAIK is supposed to include suspensions by governing bodies:
SafeSport doesn't look for people to ban: they only ban people who are reported to them. Shepard's arrest wasn't reported to U.S. Figure Skating until today. The Center for SafeSport is taking several weeks to add criminal arrests to their database. I wouldn't expect to see his name added until January unless it's expedited. (I posted this in the other thread too; sorry to anyone reading it twice. I wanted to clarify why Shepard isn't yet listed in the Center's database.)

They also don't list everyone suspended by an NGB, only those suspended or banned for violations of SafeSport policy (so the embezzlement bans, for example, aren't in the Center's database).
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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This man is obviously a terrible individual who preys on youth.

However, a former club president does not automatically mean the individual is no longer a USFSA member. I'm not sure why people interpret it as the same status. A lot of club officials remain USFSA members for life. Also I know a lot of "merely" club presidents who have invested many hours of their time each week (often 20+) to further the sport of skating. I hope the people who minimize the contribution made by these people are contributing to volunteer organizations at that level as they carelessly misinform people regarding rules and procedures and devalue the responsibilities of club presidents.
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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Anyone who is a USFS member at the time they are arrested for a sex crime or a crime against a minor is eligible to be banned by the Center for SafeSport and those who are "covered individuals" are required to report. More generally speaking, every U.S. Figure Skating agreed to abide by the Code of Ethics and falls under the jurisdiction of Ethics Committee (who suspended Shepard today) and Grievance Committee.

About half of the individuals banned/suspended by U.S. Figure Skating are club volunteers, typically banned for embezzling from their club.
Thanks for the reminder (re. bolded sentence above). I had forgotten this fact when I was posting (I've read & linked to such articles in the past).
 

vesperholly

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Also, a club president - especially the president of the Salt Lake City club - is certainly "involved in the sport," quite deeply, and it's insulting to club volunteers and/or ignorant of how involved club volunteers are in figure skating to say that a club president "is not involved in the sport in any way."
Shepard is a former club president, not current, so not involved in the sport in any way anymore could certainly be accurate. The article says that he resigned his club position earlier this year. USFS membership runs from July 1-June 30; it's possible he did not rejoin USFS for the 2019-2020 season and is no longer a current member.

It's all splitting hairs really. Glad they caught the creep and hopefully it was before he hurt anyone.
 

carriecmu0503

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308
This is wholly inaccurate: anyone who is a USFS member at the time they are arrested for a sex crime or a crime against a minor is eligible to be banned by the Center for SafeSport and those who are "covered individuals" are required to report.

Also, a club president - especially the president of the Salt Lake City club - is certainly "involved in the sport," quite deeply, and it's insulting to club volunteers and/or ignorant of how involved club volunteers are in figure skating to say that a club president "is not involved in the sport in any way."



SafeSport doesn't look for people to ban: they only ban people who are reported to them. Shepard's arrest wasn't reported to U.S. Figure Skating until today. The Center for SafeSport is taking several weeks to add criminal arrests to their database.

Calm down. He is a FORMER club president, which is why I said he is not involved. I have volunteered plenty as a USFS member, and full well know the roll of volunteers.
 

carriecmu0503

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This man is obviously a terrible individual who preys on youth.

However, a former club president does not automatically mean the individual is no longer a USFSA member. I'm not sure why people interpret it as the same status. A lot of club officials remain USFSA members for life. Also I know a lot of "merely" club presidents who have invested many hours of their time each week (often 20+) to further the sport of skating. I hope the people who minimize the contribution made by these people are contributing to volunteer organizations at that level as they carelessly misinform people regarding rules and procedures and devalue the responsibilities of club presidents.
Nobody is devaluing anybody. That is an assumption you are making. Let's not confuse the role of a FORMER officer with someone who is actually still serving and involved.
 

Debbie S

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I am a "former" club officer and I am still involved with my club (as are several former presidents). I manage the club website, the email newsletter, the social media for our annual comp, and also coordinate volunteers for the comp. I also put together the announcing script for our 2 club shows and our annual spring awards presentation (and calculate award winners). Yeah, I do a lot. Pretty much everything (and even then some) that I did as a board member, except I don't have to go to monthly board meetings.

We don't know the extent that the accused individual was still involved in the club/skating. USFS and SafeSport are well within their boundaries to get involved and issue a ban. This is not a person you want showing up to club events or having any contact with minors/skaters.
 

Skating97

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This man is obviously a terrible individual who preys on youth.

However, a former club president does not automatically mean the individual is no longer a USFSA member. I'm not sure why people interpret it as the same status. A lot of club officials remain USFSA members for life. Also I know a lot of "merely" club presidents who have invested many hours of their time each week (often 20+) to further the sport of skating. I hope the people who minimize the contribution made by these people are contributing to volunteer organizations at that level as they carelessly misinform people regarding rules and procedures and devalue the responsibilities of club presidents.
 

Skating97

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He just resigned. Was in charge of International Classic in September and Regionals in October. This is Nathen Chens club and hosts alot of well known events.
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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Calm down. He is a FORMER club president, which is why I said he is not involved. I have volunteered plenty as a USFS member, and full well know the roll of volunteers.
Again, a person would be considered involved enough to qualify for action if the individual is a current USFSA member, whether or not the person is a former club officer or volunteer. There is no need to tell others to calm down when you are the one giving misinformation, or to try to minimize the seriousness of the issue at hand that requires action by the federation. It does not matter if he is "merely" a former club president, because the federation cannot take chances that the reported incident is his first foray into this type of behavior or that his recent resignation easily solves the problem. inaction can result in liability issues.
 
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carriecmu0503

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Again, a person would be considered involved enough to qualify for action if the individual is a current USFSA member, whether or not the person is a former club officer or volunteer. There is no need to tell others to calm down when you are the one giving misinformation, or to try to minimize the seriousness of the issue at hand that requires action by the federation. It does not matter if he is "merely" a former club president, because the federation cannot take chances that the reported incident is his first foray into this type of behavior or that his recent resignation easily solves the problem. inaction can result in liability issues.
The federation cannot possible babysit every single club in the US. The club has a certain level of responsibility to police their members. That is a big role of the club board. The federation barely has the resources to deal with all the coaches, judges, other officials, federation employees, etc. There are thousands of clubs in the US; how would you expect USFS to have a handle on every single volunteer at every single club in the US? There are simply not the resources for that.
 

Debbie S

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There are thousands of clubs in the US; how would you expect USFS to have a handle on every single volunteer at every single club in the US? There are simply not the resources for that.
What exactly are you trying to argue here? That USFS shouldn't have taken any action when they were informed of the incident and arrest? This individual was arrested for a sex crime (or attempted one). USFS and SafeSport policies are very clear. And they include all members, club board members and volunteers. If any of those are the subject of a complaint (or arrest), USFS and SafeSport are required to issue suspensions, pending the outcome of any investigation/trial. Yes, SafeSport and USFS rely on members (and mandatory reporters) to report allegations of abuse so they can be investigated. In this case, the individual was arrested, a matter of public record - when USFS was made aware of it, they issued the suspension.
 

overedge

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Any federation should babysit its clubs, because the clubs operate under its mandate and offer its programs. And as such the federation also has some liability for the club's actions, and the people who guide those actions. No, federations don't have the resources to watch every single thing that their clubs do, but they need to act when things go wrong.
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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The federation cannot possible babysit every single club in the US. The club has a certain level of responsibility to police their members. That is a big role of the club board. The federation barely has the resources to deal with all the coaches, judges, other officials, federation employees, etc. There are thousands of clubs in the US; how would you expect USFS to have a handle on every single volunteer at every single club in the US? There are simply not the resources for that.
No one here has said a club board has no responsibility. But your comments here are a very good example of why there continue to be questions of trust and good faith in USFSA, as well as other federations like USAG. Specified procedures and processes to be followed have been developed, whether it's by the federation, the clubs or the members, to make more of an effort to proactively address these issues. Instead of actually learning and supporting the procedures to protect children, you prefer to continue to present an array of reasons to purposely overlook and minimize them.

No one wants to be involved in a sport where everyone is disrespectfully presumed to be an abuser. However, looking at the depth of this problem across all the different sports, it seems like in order to regain the trust of members the thing to do is to discuss the issue openly and honestly, and transparently report occurrences, have federations face up to past problems and cover-ups, and demonstrate they are listening to athletes and taking their complaints and input seriously. There are still many inconsistencies in these areas, but once the organizations (at all levels) show good faith reliability in addressing the issue head on, they can regain the trust of their memberships.
 

just tuned in

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He actually went to meet the girl. Of course, the allegations are true.

From the article:
District Attorney Sim Gill credited a new child exploitation task force for the arrest.

"This kind of behavior is far more prolific than what people anticipated," Gill said. "If you’re going to engage in this behavior, and you’re going to engage in it in Salt Lake County, we’re going to find you. We’re going to hunt you down. We’re going to aggressively prosecute you, and we’re going to severely punish you
Is okay for me to love that the bolded part is from "Miss Congeniality?"
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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After his arrest, Shepard “acknowledged his interest in 12- 13-year-old females,” according to charging documents.

Shepard was the president of Salt Lake Figure Skating, which bills itself as “Utah’s premier competitive figure skating club,” and “is a primary teacher in church,” charging documents state.

The organization said in a statement that it became aware of the criminal allegations against Shepard earlier this month.

Shepard stepped down as president of the club on Sept. 1 and resigned from the board of Salt Lake Figure Skating on Nov. 14, according to the organization. The statement did not include Shepard’s reasons for stepping down from his role as president.
 

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