New York – Florida issued an arrest warrant for French figure skater Morgan Cipres over allegations that he sexually abused a 13-year-old girl in 2017, USA Today reported yesterday.
When contacted by AFP for comment, the Florida state attorney’s office did not respond.
According to USA Today, the state attorney’s office has charged the skater, who announced his retirement at the end of September, with transmission of harmful material to a minor by electronic device.
The French ice skating federation (FFSG) decided in July not to pursue action against Cipres. The FFSG disciplinary committee said that it was not aware of any “complaint from the alleged victim nor any element that could lead to criminal proceedings.”
Cipres is accused of sending lewd photographs to a 13-year-old skater in December 2017. USA Today published reports of the allegations in December 2019.
In July, the sheriff’s department in Pasco County, Florida, which has jurisdiction over the case, told AFP that it had reopened the investigation into the skater based on new information.
The alleged victim’s lawyer Andrea Lewis told AFP that investigators were in possession of photos allegedly sent by Cipres.
USA Today also reported that the 29-year-old skater and his Florida-based coaches, John Zimmerman and Silvia Fontana, are the subject of an investigation by the United States Centre for SafeSport, which is dedicated to examining allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct in Olympic sports.
The coaches are accused of pressuring the teenager and her family not to report the incident to authorities.
Cipres is a two-time Olympian and pairs bronze medallist at the 2018 World Championship with partner Vanessa James. – AFP