Florida has issued an arrest warrant for French figure skater Morgan Cipres over allegations he sent obscene photos to a 13-year-old girl, the alleged victim’s lawyer told AFP Wednesday, December 9.
Attorney Andrea Lewis said prosecutors accuse the 29-year-old – who announced his retirement in September – of transmitting harmful material to a minor by electronic means in December 2017.
In Florida, the offense is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Lewis said investigators were in possession of photos allegedly sent by Cipres.
Contacted by AFP for comment, the Florida state attorney’s office did not respond.
Cipres is a two-time Olympian, and won a bronze medal at the 2018 World Championship with skating partner Vanessa James.
Allegations that he sent lewd messages to a 13-year-old skater were first reported in 2019.
But the French ice skating federation (FFSG) in July decided not to pursue action against Cipres, saying it was not aware of any “complaint from the alleged victim nor any element that could lead to criminal proceedings.”
In July, the sheriff’s department in Florida’s Pasco County told AFP that it had reopened the investigation into the skater after new information emerged.
USA Today reported that Cipres and his Florida-based coaches, John Zimmerman and Silvia Fontana, were the subject of an investigation by the US Center for SafeSport, which examines 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. – Rappler.com
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