A lawsuit filed by four American athletes accused the former US Olympic taekwondo coach Jean Lopez and her brother Steven of forcing them to be sex slaves.
Four American female athletes have filed a lawsuit in federal court, accusing the US Olympic Committee (USOC) and the American Taekwondo Federation (USA TKD) of forcing them to train and become sex slaves during their travels. According to AFP, four athletes, including Heidi Gilbert, Mandy Meloon, Amber Means and Gaby Joslin, have gone to Colorado court as a plaintiff of what they called “two decades of taekwondo athletes in the US Olympic team have been abused, exploited and sexually trafficked by the same organizations, officials, coaches and assistant coaches, who are entrusted with the duty to protect the athletes”.
The complaint of the four female athletes mentioned above named the former US Olympic taekwondo coach Jean Lopez and his younger brother Steven (each won 2 Olympic gold medals). Jean was banned by the US Center for SafeSport from the US Center for SafeSport for a lifetime ban from participating in every tournament, every taekwondo event in the world. Steven is temporarily restricted from participating in the investigation.
Meloon, a world champion twice in a 2007 lawsuit, reported that she had been raped by Jean at the 1997 World Cup in Egypt when she was 15 years old. She left Jean’s 2007 team and submitted the case to the USOC Arbitration Board. Gilbert claimed Jean had sexually assaulted her after competing in Ecuador in 2002 and in Germany in 2003. According to the lawsuit, female athletes who wanted to join the US taekwondo team had no choice but to respond sexual needs of the Lopez brothers. If they refuse, they will be forced to sit on the bench, suspended or kicked off the team by the Lopez brothers, USOC and USA TKD”.
USD TKD sends press releases to the newspapers stating that there is no time to review the details of the lawsuit and because “this is a legal issue under investigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment deeper in the moment”.