Former Collegiate Swimmers File Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against University of Kentucky, Coaches

Swimming pool underwater

Two former collegiate swimmers file sexual abuse lawsuit against University of Kentucky, Coaches

On April 12, former UK swimmers Briggs Alexander and a woman identified as Jane Doe II filed a lawsuit against the University of Kentucky and former swim and dive head coach Lars Jorgensen, his predecessor Gary Conelly, and current athletic director Mitch Barnhart, citing Jorgensen’s alleged sexual misconduct and abuse as well as the University’s potential complicity in the assaults by concealing multiple concerning reports and allowing the former coach to continue his predation of women.

The Athlete’s detailed investigation outlined the horrific nature of Jorgensen’s alleged actions, including multiple counts of rape, harassment, abuse, and punitive punishment of the student athletes under his care as well as women on the staff who reported to him.

The previous UK swim coach Gary Conelly, along with Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart, hired Jorgensen despite receiving reports on his history of alleged abuse and misconduct. In 2012, the then assistant swim coach at the University of Toledo Mark Howard, reportedly informed both Conelly and Barnhart of a sexual relationship between Jorgensen and a swimmer at the University of Toledo.

The University received multiple accounts of Jorgensen’s patterned abuse from the student-athletes and ancillary staff under his care. Additionally, the University received accounts of abuse from outside the University, like the 2014 report filed by the University of Toledo softball coach and the 2019 report filed by swim coaches at San Jose State.

The University of Kentucky and its staff allegedly actively concealed Jorgensen’s history of abuse when they hired him and continued to do so over the years. In August of 2023, the University reached a settlement with Jorgensen, who received $75,000 prior to submitting his resignation.

Alexander, who now identifies as male, has stated he “hopes the lawsuit will hold Jorgensen, Conelly, Barnhart and the University of Kentucky accountable for the alleged misconduct and negligence, and provide some relief and compensation for their victims.”

If you or a loved one have been a victim of Jorgensen and the University of Kentucky and faculty, Grewal Law can guide you through the process of filing a complaint, ensure your rights are protected, and help you seek the remedies you deserve. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.

Call Grewal Law PLLC at (888) 211-5798 or send us a message online.

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