News

Oak Harbor swim coach convicted of rape featured Friday on national TV

The popular ABC News show 20/20 is running an investigative piece Friday night on Andrew King, a former Oak Harbor swim coach convicted of raping young swimmers, and the organization USA Swimming.

The piece investigated by Brian Ross, entitled "Inside USA Swimming: Secrets and Betrayal," will run Friday, April 9 at 10 p.m. on ABC. A brief segment is also scheduled to be aired Friday on the 5:30 p.m. World News with Diane Sawyer.

Andrew "Andy" King, 61, is a serial child molester who used his position as a swim coach to molest at least a dozen young girls, allegedly including one Oak Harbor girl, over his 30-year career. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison earlier this year in a California courtroom after pleading no contest last fall to 20 child molestation charges.

King coached the Aquajets swim team at the North Whidbey Park and Recreation swimming pool in Oak Harbor during the 1990s, then left mysteriously amid complaints about his contact with female swimmers.

A couple of years later, one of the Oak Harbor swimmers reported that King had molested and raped her from 1994 to 1997, when she was just 12 to 13 years old. Detective Teri Gardner with the Oak Harbor police investigated the allegations extensively, but the Island County prosecutor declined to charge King.

After leaving Oak Harbor, King moved to San Jose and continued to coach swimmers associated with USA Swimming, a national organization that has been criticized over allegations that it hasn't protected children adequately. North Whidbey Aquatics Club is affiliated with Pacific Northwest Swimming, a committee of USA Swimming, according to the club's Web site.

Last year, investigators in San Jose uncovered King's lengthy history of molesting child swimmers.

The Oak Harbor swimmer who was allegedly raped by King filed a $15 million claim for damages against North Whidbey Park and Recreation District. The district's insurance company is handling the complaint.

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