Paralympic gold medalist swimmer Robert Griswold has been accused of raping and mentally abusing an autistic swimmer. A lawsuit filed in federal court for Colorado Friday stated that the victim was “maliciously groomed” by the decorated swimmer.

According to the 63-page lawsuit, Griswold sexually assaulted now-19-year-old Parker Egbert while the two competed for the United States during the Tokyo Paralympics in Aug. 2021.

The lawsuit also alleged that the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the United States Center for SafeSport covered up the abuse.

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On Aug. 23, Griswold was issued a temporarily suspension by the US Center for Safesport due to “allegations of misconduct.”

“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 says.

The lawsuit goes on to allege that “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.”

Who is Robert Griswold?

Robert Griswold, who is from Freehold Borough, New Jersey, began swimming at the age of 6 at the Ocean County YMCA. He competed for his high school swimming team and team captain and MVP.

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He earned his Eagle Scout rank and organized a Paralympic Swimming Clinic to educate the community about disabilities. He graduated from Freehold Township High School in 2015. 

He is a member of the 2016 and 2020 U.S. Paralympic Swimming Teams. He holds multiple American and World swimming records in freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and individual medleys. He competes in the Paralympic classes S8/SB7/SM8. His cerebral palsy affects his coordination and strength.