Paralympic Gold medalist Robert Griswold accused of raping and torturing younger disabled teammate

According to a lawsuit filed by the survivor, 19-year-old Parker Egbert, Robert Griswold tried to get close to him to sexually assault and torture him

Paralympic Gold medalist Robert Griswold accused of raping and torturing younger disabled teammate
Paralympic gold medalist Robert Griswold has been accused of violently raping and sexually abusing a younger teammate of his (Getty Images)
ADVERTISEMENT

WARNING: This article contains details of incidents of sexual assault that some readers may find traumatic. Discretion is advised

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO: Paralympic gold medalist Robert Griswold, 25, has been accused of "maliciously targeting, grooming, and sexually abusing" a younger and intellectually disabled teammate, in a civil lawsuit filed in Colorado on Friday, November 11. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Parker Egbert, 19, who has autism and suffered from developmental delay and intellectual disability his entire life, said in his lawsuit that his disability made him “significantly more vulnerable to abuse.” It was during the Tokyo Paralympic Games and at the US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center (OPTC) in Colorado Springs that Egbert was "being violently and repeatedly sexually assaulted and harassed by his teammate, Defendant Robert Griswold," the lawsuit stated, as per Daily Mail.

ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE

Autistic student, 12, 'lured to park and beaten unconscious' by group of minors who recorded assault

Mom of autistic boy, 14, whose phone was smashed by Cristiano Ronaldo hopes he gets the 'right punishment'

ADVERTISEMENT



 

The lawsuit also names the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and the US Center for SafeSport, an independent non-profit organization committed to ending abuse and harassment against athletes, as defendants along with Griswold because of their failure to uphold their duties and "warn, supervise and/or protect" Egbert.

ADVERTISEMENT

(L-R) Silver medallist Alberto Amodeo of Italy, gold medallist Robert Griswold of United States and bronze medallist Gabriel Cristiano Silva de Sousa of Brazil pose for a photo during the medal ceremony for Men's 100m Butterfly S8 Final during Day Four of the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships at Penteada Olympic Pools Complex on June 15, 2022 in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal.
Robert Griswold has been accused of sexually assaultinga younger and fellow paralympic athlete Parker Egbert (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Griswold, who has born with cerebral palsy, received a temporary suspension on August 23, due to "allegations of misconduct," according to CNN.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gold medalist Robert Griswold of Team United States celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Men's 100m Butterfly - S8 Final on day 10 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on September 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Parker Egbert and Robert Griswold also shared the same room in Olympic Village which is where the 'grooming intensified' (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

It was at the Paralympic trials in June 2021, when the Griswold made several efforts to befriend Egbert by ensuring he was "seated next to him on plane and bus rides and was given prolonged unsupervised access" during the games. They also shared the same room in Olympic Village, which was where the abuse continued and further intensified, as reported by DailyMail. The lawsuit alleged that Egbert, who has the mental capacity of a five-year-old, was also referred to as his "little buddy" by the alleged sexual predator.

ADVERTISEMENT

The lawsuit said that Egbert refused to take showers because that was where the 25-year-old swimmer would "rape and sexually assault" him. Egbert's only escape was writing stories, one of which was titled 'Spookley and the Hurricane.' The story revolved around a group of friends who defeat a powerful Hurricane called 'Hurricane Robert', in which the hurricane is a monster, as per Daily Mail.

ADVERTISEMENT

As per the Washington Post, the lawsuit further sated, “On at least one occasion, Griswold raped Plaintiff so viciously that Plaintiff lost bowel control. To this day Plaintiff continues to suffer from persistent and excruciating rectal pain, for which surgery and continuing medical attention is required." 

ADVERTISEMENT

Shockingly, Egbert was reportedly not the only one who was preyed upon by Griswold, who has won two gold medals in Tokyo 2020, as per the lawsuit. "Griswold used his status in the Olympic and Paralympic Swimming community to carry out a systematic pattern of abuse, whereby he would seek out and groom vulnerable athletes, specifically minor and disabled Paralympic athletes living and training at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Training Center located in Colorado," the lawsuit stated.

ADVERTISEMENT

Due to the repeated assault, Egbert required surgery. Moreover, he was unable to inform anyone about the harm because of Griswold's constant warnings. The lawsuit also alleged that USOPC and SafeSport were aware of "credible allegations," and "yet conspired to cover up such allegations," because of Griswold's success in the sport. Egbert's parents accused the USOPC for not responding to the issue when the matter was brought to them.

ADVERTISEMENT

Egbert reportedly made the hard decision of leaving his lifelong dream of being a Paralympic swimmer because of Griswold's violent acts, as per CNN. "This case is a horrific tragedy, where a young man who defied all odds to become a world-class Paralympic swimmer had his life utterly shattered by rape and abuse when he was paired with a team member who was a violent sexual predator," the lawsuit read, as reported by DailyMail.

ADVERTISEMENT

Share this article: Paralympic Gold medalist Robert Griswold accused of raping and torturing younger disabled teammate