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George Morris on the SS list

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  • Originally posted by Texarkana View Post

    If you read the SafeSport policies, you would feel less bewildered.

    Here’s the link: https://safesport.org/files/details/114

    I recommend jumping to page 21 of the manual and beginning with the “resolution procedures” section.

    You’re welcome!
    No discovery
    No right of the accused to have his/her lawyer directly cross examine the claimant
    "past conduct informs current fitness" which is pretty much exactly what Fed Rule Civil Procedure 404(b) says is not admissible ("(1) Prohibited Uses. Evidence of a crime, wrong, or other act is not admissible to prove a person’s character in order to show that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character.").

    It's like a Frankenstein of legal processes. The heart of safesport is in the right place, and we need it, but the process needs improvement.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by SmartPak Customer Care

      Hi Texarkana and dannyboy - SmartPak here! Please know that as a company, we take SafeSport violations very seriously as they are in direct conflict with our mission of healthy horses and happy riders. We want to clear up the confusion regarding our association with Tom Navarro and River Chase Farm, since it’s been mentioned here a couple of times. SmartPak does not currently, nor have we ever, sponsored Tom Navarro or River Chase Farm. We appreciate you drawing our attention to River Chase Farm’s unauthorized use of our logo on their Sponsors page. Having reviewed it, we found that this was seemingly a copied image of an outdated corporate logo that has not been use for several years. We also see that, in any case, the unauthorized logo has now been removed from River Chase Farm’s website. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Care Team at 1-800-461-8898 or CustomerCare@SmartPak.com and one of our team members would be happy to help. – the SmartPak Team
      Thank you for addressing this! That's seriously sleazy.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by BITSA View Post

        No discovery
        No right of the accused to have his/her lawyer directly cross examine the claimant
        "past conduct informs current fitness" which is pretty much exactly what Fed Rule Civil Procedure 404(b) says is not admissible ("(1) Prohibited Uses. Evidence of a crime, wrong, or other act is not admissible to prove a person’s character in order to show that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character.").

        It's like a Frankenstein of legal processes. The heart of safesport is in the right place, and we need it, but the process needs improvement.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by BITSA View Post

          No discovery
          No right of the accused to have his/her lawyer directly cross examine the claimant
          "past conduct informs current fitness" which is pretty much exactly what Fed Rule Civil Procedure 404(b) says is not admissible ("(1) Prohibited Uses. Evidence of a crime, wrong, or other act is not admissible to prove a person’s character in order to show that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character.").

          It's like a Frankenstein of legal processes. The heart of safesport is in the right place, and we need it, but the process needs improvement.
          The FRE don't apply to administrative processes. But while you're looking at the 400 series, you might check out 413 and 414. Two of the permissible uses for propensity evidence. And guess what they're for? Sexual assault and child molestation.
          ~Veronica
          "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
          http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

          Comment


          • Originally posted by vxf111 View Post

            The FRE don't apply to administrative processes. But while you're looking at the 400 series, you might check out 413 and 414. Two of the permissible uses for propensity evidence. And guess what they're for? Sexual assault and child molestation.
            My point was its a mismash, I'm not sure 413-414 change that.

            Comment


            • Virginia Horse Mom

              And the whole special ops/army ranger stuff? Safe Sport will be the LEAST of this guy’s problems if he goes and spouts off about an obviously fabricated/embellished military record to the wrong person.
              do you know if he's ever said anything in print about being a ranger or special ops guy or is that just blowing smoke? If you do, I'd like to see a citation. I know some folks who might be interested....

              Comment


              • Originally posted by BITSA View Post

                My point was its a mismash, I'm not sure 413-414 change that.
                That’s not all you said. You said FRE 404 doesn’t allow the propensity argument. Except FRE 413 and 414 ALLOW it in cases of sexual assault and molestation—- which are the prior acts at issue in SafeSport hearings. Even in court you’re allowed to argue “once a child molester, always a child molester.” So it’s not a “mishmash” to allow that argument in SS hearings. FRE 404 is the general rule, FRE 413 and 414 turn the general rule around in specific types of cases. You’re arguing that prior bad acts would not be allowed in court but are in SA hearings. Except you are wrong— in these type of cases prior bad acts would be allowed to show propensity.
                ~Veronica
                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                Comment


                • Originally posted by dannyboy View Post
                  Virginia Horse Mom



                  do you know if he's ever said anything in print about being a ranger or special ops guy or is that just blowing smoke? If you do, I'd like to see a citation. I know some folks who might be interested....
                  He was just blowing smoke. He was talking to my husband (who he didn't realize was a retired Army Colonel). He's never been in the military; just more BS.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by BITSA View Post

                    No discovery
                    No right of the accused to have his/her lawyer directly cross examine the claimant

                    "past conduct informs current fitness" which is pretty much exactly what Fed Rule Civil Procedure 404(b) says is not admissible ("(1) Prohibited Uses. Evidence of a crime, wrong, or other act is not admissible to prove a person’s character in order to show that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character.").

                    It's like a Frankenstein of legal processes. The heart of safesport is in the right place, and we need it, but the process needs improvement.
                    Once again, I will say it is NOT TRUE that the accused does not get to have his/her lawyer directly cross examine the claimant. SafeSport policy states that the witness may be questioned by the arbitrator with questions that are submitted, however, it also states:
                    Examining witnesses (1) The Responding Party and Reporting Party shall be subject to questioning by only the arbitrator unless the Responding Party or Reporting Party agrees to direct examination and cross-examination by the opposing party.

                    From experience, witnesses HAVE BEEN QUESTIONED BY OPPOSING PARTY'S ATTORNEY!

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by dannyboy View Post
                      Virginia Horse Mom



                      do you know if he's ever said anything in print about being a ranger or special ops guy or is that just blowing smoke? If you do, I'd like to see a citation. I know some folks who might be interested....
                      He says his family has ties to the USMC and there's a picture on the farm Instagram of someone in uniform with his name, third of the TNs. It could be him in the 90's, given the apparent age of the photo, and public information says his father was "TN Jr.", but his face has aged and changed so much from life that you'd have to make a best guess.
                      Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by LexInVA View Post

                        He says his family has ties to the USMC and there's a picture on the farm Instagram of someone in uniform with his name, third of the TNs. It could be him in the 90's, given the apparent age of the photo, and public information says his father was "TN Jr.", but his face has aged and changed so much from life that you'd have to make a best guess.
                        That's his son. He was briefly in the USMC.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by LexInVA View Post
                          I don't know how much of it is embellishment, but there's a lot that just doesn't make sense with RF, between the owners, TN, and the fact that the business is claiming - according to what's out there - to be multi-million dollar income generating, despite other - and far more well-regarded - facilities in the immediate area only generating 1/4th the income, at best. I don't want to speculate, but the who-is-who tied to this business makes me wonder if there's some "additional business" that is really what's going on, as we're seeing with horse farms in other parts of the country.
                          I can assure you this farm is not a multi-million dollar business. If they are bringing that much cash flow in it’s from something unrelated to the horse world. The farm is falling to pieces and is crumbling beneath TN. No credible lesson program. His business partner has apparently parted ways and is no longer “coaching” the IEA team (on paper of course). The farm is physically falling apart from lack of maintenance. Boarders are supposedly leaving in droves at this point. The only ones left are die-hard Navarro believers. Sadly, the teenage girls and their parents look past his record for whatever reason. I know of at least a few who, when asked, are blatantly aware but state “he’s never shown us any indication of being a creeper... it’s a really sad story that he got mixed up in... its all a misunderstanding...” whatever the story du jour is. It’s really sad, because teenage girls are so easy to groom. If you can manipulate them into thinking they misinterpreted you, you’re golden. If you can get them to believe it’s all part of succeeding in their riding goals, you’re golden. It’s truly terrifying that he was allowed to be part of a lesson program while on the registry, and just like that, he’s off of it at the snap of his fingers and now he is teaching teenage girls (and younger), was allowed to take them to shows, etc. I sincerely hope he never laid a finger on any of them.

                          Comment


                          • LexInVA - why the use of initials? I can’t follow your conversation. RF? TN?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by sixteenhands View Post
                              LexInVA - why the use of initials? I can’t follow your conversation. RF? TN?
                              River Chase Farm and Tom Navarro, I’m assuming.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Tiramit View Post

                                Isn't this the cornerstone of the horse industry's issues? Yes, this is how much your horse costs. No, you don't need a formal contract. Yes, leaving your children with me is a good idea. No, these drugs are fine for the horse and won't test.

                                There is no real oversight within the industry and far too many ignorant (or willfully blind) people forking over small fortunes to prop up its (many) offenders.
                                Truth!

                                The multiple issues you succinctly packaged bother me on multiple levels, but most especially because I am fortunate enough to count numerous excellent horse industry professionals as my friends. It stinks to witness good hearted, crazy hard working, young and talented people pour their heart and soul into a horse related career... and struggle to find opportunities and to make ends meet, and then you witness a middle aged piece of work luck his way into a great location, and just run a poor string of lesson beasts into the ground, while simultaneously squeezing middle class suburban parents for every last penny possible...

                                It’s aggravating to see this. I love our sport, and there are so many nice young folks trying to make a decent career of it as a pro... I loathe the posers...
                                Last edited by Virginia Horse Mom; Aug. 19, 2019, 11:12 PM. Reason: Typos

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by AlterHalter2019 View Post
                                  Sadly, the teenage girls and their parents look past his record for whatever reason. I know of at least a few who, when asked, are blatantly aware but state “he’s never shown us any indication of being a creeper... it’s a really sad story that he got mixed up in... its all a misunderstanding...” whatever the story du jour is. It’s really sad, because teenage girls are so easy to groom. If you can manipulate them into thinking they misinterpreted you, you’re golden. If you can get them to believe it’s all part of succeeding in their riding goals, you’re golden.
                                  This point is worth considering for the larger issues of anyone doing any form of victim blaming, whether that be asking why they didn't speak up or why they later because less-than-model-citizens and did trauma-expressing things like become sex offenders themselves.

                                  I don't think the "groomed teenager" is born of a type or is created in a vacuum that's limited to the kid and the adult. Rather, I think the kid might sense that something is wrong with some bit of "unorthodox" interaction with their respected mentor. They feel either shame or guilt or a sense of things not being quite right.... but then look to other trusted adults to help them gauge the degree of "not right"-ness, and to help them figure out what people do about that.

                                  So when parents blow it off, or have somehow become part of the group of adults that kiddo thinks he/she can't talk to about any problem, they help isolate the kid with the problem and with the perp. They contribute to creating a kid who is vulnerable to being groomed.

                                  IMO, that is why stopping sexual abuse in its tracks is properly a problem for every adult.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post
                                    The multiple issues you succinctly packaged bother me on multiple levels, but most especially because I am fortunate enough to count numerous excellent horse industry professionals as my friends. It stinks to witness good hearted, crazy hard working, young and talented people pour their heart and soul into a horse related career... and struggle to find opportunities and to make ends meet, and then you witness a middle aged piece of work luck his way into a great location, and just run a poor string of lesson beasts into the ground, while simultaneously squeezing middle class suburban parents for every last penny possible...

                                    It’s aggravating to see this. I love our sport, and there are so many nice young folks trying to make a decent career of it as a pro... I loathe the posers...
                                    Shortly after the RG suicide news exploded into our lives, I began asking parents of IOC sport athletes about SS and their own reactions to sexual predators in sports. Of the many parents I've asked, only 1 knew of SS, and that's because she is a USEF member. The rest didn't have a clue that people are undergoing intense sex with minors investigations and being banned from the sport's governing body as a result of the findings.

                                    The more I read and learn, the more I realize that while SS is a clear path to eradicating the predator scum from our membership, it's not the entire solution when it comes to protecting children within our sport. Unless there's a criminal case resulting in a name on the sex offenders registry in addition to the SS charge, a depressing number of parents won't know that their child could be at risk by engaging the predator's services. If they're new to the sport or only ride / show at the local level, they may not know the USEF exists much less to go on the website looking for banned members.

                                    TM is evidence that SS (and the registry) won't keep predators away from our sport's children athletes. This is so, so, so troubling and suggests the need for solutions that aren't limited to the USEF's membership. The best one that comes to mind is to borrow other countries' models and require national certification or a license before giving lessons and have said credentials connected to SS in some way. Such a process would take care of banned people setting up shop outside of the USEF. It would be a massive change, yes, but it could help the young pros you mentioned while solving some of the other unethical issues ruining our sport in the process.

                                    How many times to we see / hear attorneys in TV, movies, or books claim that they can't / won't do something because they could be disbarred? Or a doctor because he could lose his license and no longer practice medicine? How awesome would it be for people within the horse industry to have that same consequence after illegally drugging (or killing!) a horse or preying on a child...? Good riddance.
                                    "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                      This point is worth considering for the larger issues of anyone doing any form of victim blaming, whether that be asking why they didn't speak up or why they later because less-than-model-citizens and did trauma-expressing things like become sex offenders themselves.

                                      I don't think the "groomed teenager" is born of a type or is created in a vacuum that's limited to the kid and the adult. Rather, I think the kid might sense that something is wrong with some bit of "unorthodox" interaction with their respected mentor. They feel either shame or guilt or a sense of things not being quite right.... but then look to other trusted adults to help them gauge the degree of "not right"-ness, and to help them figure out what people do about that.

                                      So when parents blow it off, or have somehow become part of the group of adults that kiddo thinks he/she can't talk to about any problem, they help isolate the kid with the problem and with the perp. They contribute to creating a kid who is vulnerable to being groomed.

                                      IMO, that is why stopping sexual abuse in its tracks is properly a problem for every adult.
                                      I can’t tell if you are saying I am contributing to victim blaming or not. If so, then my post has been misinterpreted. I don’t think you are, but just want to ensure we are on the same page. The parents who look past the record, or justify leaving their children with him, or who believe the story he gives without doing their own research. Those people are putting their children in danger and children, especially those with goals, or those with a shit home life, or those who otherwise would not be able to have the experience they are getting with horses, are especially susceptible to being groomed.

                                      You do bring up a good point though. Kids look to adults, and if adults don’t speak up or indicate that they are uncomfortable or don’t trust someone, kids will second guess their own feelings or intuition. I was talking about this thread and the SS stuff with someone and they asked me yesterday - “if someone came to you and asked what you thought of this individual or this situation, would you honestly speak up?” Truth be told, it depends. If I were a boarder on that farm and some family came looking for boarding and lessons for their kid, but I suspected me speaking up would jeopardize the care of my horse or would cause the individual to make my life hell as a boarder, I don’t know if I could be honest. If I were an ex-boarder who was safely out of that toxic situation, then absolutely I would speak up. But of course, by then you are deemed the “disgruntled ex-boarder” and are not believed anymore. It makes me a coward. But I also know that I have been in similar situations and I need to take care of myself first before I can do that for others, which for me means skirting around the truth (“the care is good but I would do your own research on the trainers as I have never taken lessons with them myself so am not the best source of information”) until I was safely out.

                                      I was that kid that grew up with a cold and unemotional family, who became a live-in working student as a teenager and liked that I had a sense of family now. I liked that I was being allowed to work towards my goals, and the family thought I was amazing, and they treated me well. Thankfully the family didn’t abuse me but a boarder also treated me kindly, claimed to see my potential, wanted to help me reach my goals, etc etc. The fact that I was receiving positive attention and love felt amazing. So when the boarder then began grooming me, I didn’t even see it. He was smart. He set me up and when I turned 18 he took advantage (because it’s not illegal at that point, even though this was a product of three years of planning and effort on his part). When I got the guts to tell my parents, they acted like they didn’t believe me. Surely I misunderstood this person who had been so good to me growing up. That man then continued that pattern with others, as I would later find out, but thankfully I spoke up years later just before he happened to hit on my former BOs teenage daughter.

                                      I have lived through rape and sexual abuse as a young adult. I have seen red flags but also saw other older adults claim to love this person and talk about how great they are for the organization, and how people look up to them. So I thought surely I gave mixed signals or misunderstood what happened. Surely it was my fault. He raped me and then assaulted me several times in the work place, and then got one last chance from me (because I was led to believe that I must have done something, in my Nike shorts and t-shirt, to suggest I was asking for sex even though I fought him verbally and physically, so again, he couldn’t be that bad, it was my fault) to sexually assault me. After that I opened my eyes. And after that I began hearing stories of other young women who experienced similar trauma and it was swept under the rug. I was the ONLY one who chose to report this in a format that would lead to investigation and trial, because the other victims believed they would have their career ruined or they were at fault. During trial I dealt with over 12 hours of testifying and being beaten down by high dollar defense attorneys who insisted that I was old enough to know better, that I didn’t see the red flags at first so I must have wanted it, that I set him up, that I asked for it (what? In my Nike shorts and t-shirt? You mean verbally and physically fighting him off to the point of being bruised wasn’t enough of a sign that I didn’t want it?). They had witness after witness talk about what a shining example of a person this guy was. He was the office morale booster who cared about everyone. He would never rape someone. Or groom them to believe it was all a misunderstanding and then re-assault them later. And the guy was found not guilty. Despite me having text messages where he apologizes (they were inadmissible, I later found out, because they could not reasonably separate those messages from unrelated messages and therefore the judge would not allow them presented by the prosecution, but they certainly were cherry picked and used by the defense (*gasp*! I said good night to him! I must have wanted to sleep with him!) Despite photos of bruising on my arms. Despite everything I let out on the stand while being beaten down to feel like nothing.


                                      This is really long, sorry. It doesn’t even really apply fully, but it felt good to get that release of telling my own story. Long story short, I understand how easily a teenager or young adult can be groomed, especially if parents or other adults/respected individuals look the other way. I also know the severe psychological damage that it causes and deal with that every day. It’s easy for us to say “yes we would speak up if we knew the families putting their kids at risk... but in person it is a lot more challenging unfortunately. It shouldn’t be, but it is, and that’s sad. I’m guilty of not saying anything myself in those situations.

                                      Comment


                                      • The one huge thing to come out of this thread is the body of stories bravely told by our members. Thank you to each for your brave words
                                        _\\]
                                        -- * > hoopoe
                                        Procrastinate NOW
                                        Introverted Since 1957

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by snaffle1987 View Post
                                          I burned my GM book in the middle of my arena over the weekend, and then when it was reduced to ash, I raked it into the footing with the tractor.
                                          Which book?

                                          The fact that this is a legitimate question really demonstrates the whole dichotomy of the situation. His book Hunter Seat Equitation has been regarded as a classic for decades, and has been read countless times by generations of riders. That book, based strictly on its own merits, is considered by many to be the textbook (or the Bible) of the sport.

                                          His memoir (which I have not read) sounds like an entirely different book, especially in light of recent developments. That one seems to be a more likely candidate for a bonfire.

                                          So do we burn both books? Burn the memoir and keep the textbook on the shelf? Keep the textbook but remove the cover with the picture? Run over the textbook with the tractor but not burn it? That’s the mental struggle for many people.

                                          On a slight tangent. I wonder what might have been different if he had never written the first book. I believe the column in Practical Horseman came after the book, and probably as a result of it. Without that first book, would he still have reached the position he did as the ultimate authority in the sport for many people? Or would he have been just another trainer from New Jersey with several successful riders?

                                          Comment

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