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French Olympic figure skater Morgan Cipres is facing a felony charge in Florida after he allegedly sent a 13-year-old American figure skater lewd photos over Instagram, according to USA Today’s Christine Brennan.
Cipres is facing a felony charge for the transmission of material harmful to a minor by electronic device, per the report, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Cipres, 29, retired alongside his partner Vanessa James in September amid an investigation into the incident. The pair, who have won five French national titles and took fifth at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, were expected to compete for a medal at the 2022 Games in Beijing.
“[This] is the first step towards justice for the victim and her family,” an attorney for the girl and her family told USA Today. “No child should ever have to go through anything like this. By filing felony charges against Morgan Cipres, the State of Florida has sent a clear message to him and other men who prey on children.”
Cipres allegedly sent lewd photos to 13-year-old
Cipres allegedly direct messaged two photos of his penis to a 13-year-old American figure skater in 2017 from his verified Instagram account. The two trained at the same rink in Florida.
The girl and her parents claim that Cipres and his coaches tried to keep them from reporting the incident to authorities, and both threatened and shamed the girl. Cipres was preparing for the 2018 Olympics at the time.
Two of Cipres’ coaches denied the allegations, and Cipres told USA Today that he has “nothing to say about this allegation” when asked directly in 2019. He is believed to be in France.
The girl initially declined to cooperate with the investigation in 2017, which is why police did not pursue charges. She has since left the rink and is in therapy while “fully cooperating” with the investigation. The incident is also being investigated by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
“Being victimized by an adult is traumatizing for a child and she still struggles with what happened to her on a daily basis,” her attorney said in June. “Not only was she harmed by the perpetrator, but also by other adults that she trusted who attempted to cover up his misconduct and intimidate her into being silent. She is extremely grateful for the words of support from survivors and other people all around the world. Those voices have given her the courage to speak up and do what is necessary to make sure that this never happens again.”
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