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George Morris on the SS list

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  • I don't have a problem with people saying the process probably needs some refinement. I don't like the knee jerk reaction by people to automatically assume that people that have been put on the ban list are innocent because the process might not be perfect, though, just because SS had the audacity to ban a high profile figure that is essentially godlike and untouchable to them. As in, they don't believe that someone THEY like could possibly do something awful like that, so SS must be wrong.

    Comment


    • I get the need to move with alacrity, so as to protect children from any ongoing danger, but it seems to me that SS should have made sure the process was airtight (maybe they did) before taking on someone who is argueably the biggest BN in the business. He's not going to let SS off the hook by committing suicide, he's going to fight this and he will have access to some real money to do it with. If there is any flaw in the process, any loophole whatsoever, his lawyers will find it.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post

        If it is deemed during the course of the investigation that the accused poses an immediate threat currently, an interim suspension is handed down and announced.
        ladyj, I'm not sure this is 100% accurate based on the text in the code. There's nothing in there that says interim sanctions can only occur once an official investigation has opened; the text leaves it open to possibility that interim measures can be taken in that weird time between initial complaint and official investigation if I'm reading it right. To me, that seems like a valid point of contention where Safe Sport's policy could be tightened up a bit, if only by specifying that interim measures must be recommended by one of the center's trained investigators (or something similar).

        Comment


        • Originally posted by 541hunter View Post

          ladyj, I'm not sure this is 100% accurate based on the text in the code. There's nothing in there that says interim sanctions can only occur once an official investigation has opened; the text leaves it open to possibility that interim measures can be taken in that weird time between initial complaint and official investigation if I'm reading it right. To me, that seems like a valid point of contention where Safe Sport's policy could be tightened up a bit, if only by specifying that interim measures must be recommended by one of the center's trained investigators (or something similar).
          i presume an initial investigation begins when a complaint is made, whether they refer to it by that language I don't know.

          me linguistically i am choosing to include the outcry as part of an initial investigation, because it's testimony. IE when Molly Hunter calls and says Joe Millionaire raped me, an investigation just began. That's just my linguistic choice to describe and explain though. Definitely this would be a great question to email safe sport with to know what language they use.
          Let me apologize in advance.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post

            I would hope so but I gather there are many who are willing to say the process is JUST FINE and is working well. They have on this thread. I find that lack of nuance in thought depressing for actual justice.
            You are correct in that I find it just fine. As far as lack of nuance...... well I can point you to some appellate attorneys who have argued in front of the Supreme Court that agree with me. The law has gotten specialized and has been specialized for a while. I may not be a lawyer but be careful what you say. I may just prove you wrong. If you don’t work in constitutional law or appeals, I’m sorry I’m not going to take your word on the law.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by dannyboy View Post
              If there is any flaw in the process, any loophole whatsoever, his lawyers will find it.
              That actually might be good, the flaws can be found and fixed.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post

                the process flow chart purports that during the intake process, they have preliminary information gathering and initial contact with the involved parties. According to Kathy, there was an email sent hours before the release of suspension with Tommy. I do not find that sufficient. They did not interview him or provide any actual information about the claim so he could defend himself. It leaves me questioning whether they follow their posted policies.

                Note on the flow chart that this limited “preliminary information gathering and initial contact“ is done before a “trained investigator” is assigned to the case. The interim suspension is also handed down before the trained investigator is assigned to the case. But the interim suspension is announced publicly, also before a trained investigator is even involved.

                that is one area I believe could be improved. Or, at least, their description of it leaves me shaking my head.
                The USEF has stopped publicly announcing the interim suspensions - doing so initially was a really bad move on their part. So the only way anyone knows about people being added or taken off the list is to access the list and look for yourself, unless the person announces it themselves. The list has to be public since the person is barred from horse shows - how else will management know? This is definitely an area of SS that needs work.

                Comment


                • From the age of 9 until I was 17, I was severely emotionally and psychologically abused by my trainer...as was pretty much anyone else at her barn-- adults included. My own mother was not immune; more than once I found her cowering in a stall crying because my trainer had ripped into her without cause.

                  We stayed at this barn because we felt she was the best option in the area. I did not come from a horsey family and it's an extremely small equestrian community around here.

                  I had no concept of the magnitude of the fallout the abuse would have on my life. I'm nearly 40 years old and still in regular counseling, largely because the damage this woman inflicted on me, which has impacted nearly every facet of my life. I have forgiven her and made peace. But make no mistake: the scars will never go away.

                  My parents were very strict with me, but NOT ONCE did they intervene or provide safety. Not once did they confront her, ask questions or even ask me how I felt about the screaming and manipulation and degrading that took place on a daily basis.

                  A few years ago I broke down in front of my mother and asked her point blank, "WHY didn't you protect me? Wasn't I WORTH protecting?"

                  Her answer was that they thought I was so driven to be competitive that it was imperative I stay with this trainer (the irony is that the trainer had convinced us all we couldn't survive without her-- classic abuser tactic). In their minds, I wouldn't have wanted to leave. And so, they let me stay-- a child, who did not have the maturity, perspective or strength to know she was destroying her own life.

                  I forgive my parents for what they allowed while still acknowledging that as the adults in the situation, they should have stepped in to protect me. And if they couldn't do this for whatever reason, SOMEONE needed to. Someone needed to step in front of this woman and say "ENOUGH. No further. You are done here." SafeSport may not be perfect, but it's an effort to provide protection to children in the ways I (and so many others) never had.

                  One day when I was 17, the trainer completely flipped out on me about something ridiculous, and in that moment, I knew that it was time to make the decision for myself to finally walk away. I remember calmly riding my horse out to the fields by myself that day to jump and then the whole time jumping having a tremendous freedom and peace in my heart. I was still scared and I was sad, but the overriding sense was relief that this time was over.

                  Let the light shine in the darkness. Let chains be broken. Let justice be fulfilled.
                  ***
                  The hardest to learn was the least complicated.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                    Gross about GMs actions in clinics, and training riders. He SCREAMS abuser, not sure how it was missed all those years. Kind of insane when you think about it.
                    .
                    It wasn't missed. It was ignored and, dare I say, enabled through inaction. Big difference.

                    Looking at the Facebook posts and some of the ones on this thread I was struck by a major similarity: the argument that the 60s/70s/80s (90s, 2000s) were a different time which made the actions or inactions OK. It's tragically comical that the same argument is being used to skewer and deflect, all at once.

                    What's funny is that people are acting like there's some sort of magic switch on New Years that signifies the end of a decade and an advancement in moral and societal awareness. It doesn't work that way. Change and awareness happens when one person says, "hey, that's not OK." Then another agrees. And another, and another. Often those early people prompt something big, like Bill Cosby's accusers leading to #MeToo. Sometimes it's a slow shift. Either way, it starts with individuals calling others out for bad behavior.

                    When thinking back to those hallowed 1970's wild west / anything goes party years, it's important to keep in mind that it hasn't been OK for a 30 something adult to engage in sexual relations with a teenager, especially a young teenager, since the 1800s. Actually, that may be too recent. 1700s? Regardless, a long time before the 1970s. Society has known about it for a while.

                    No SafeSport? There were other avenues. I think one of the Catholic Church or Boy Scouts reporters would have loved a hot tip like, "one of the leaders of equestrian sport who for decades has been revered as a God.... Who is a decorated Olympian... Who has been the sport's voice... It's an open secret that he has a preference for young teenage boys and acts upon it...."

                    What's particularly sad about equestrian sports is that no one stepped up until Anne Kursinski, The New York Times, and SafeSport. Everyone knew that it was wrong for older men to prey on children, but it took an act of Congress for us to start flipping that switch and begin a cultural change within our sport.

                    It's depressing to think of all the children who could have been protected had it happened earlier.
                    "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by kt View Post
                      From the age of 9 until I was 17, I was severely emotionally and psychologically abused by my trainer...as was pretty much anyone else at her barn-- adults included. My own mother was not immune; more than once I found her cowering in a stall crying because my trainer had ripped into her without cause.

                      We stayed at this barn because we felt she was the best option in the area. I did not come from a horsey family and it's an extremely small equestrian community around here.

                      I had no concept of the magnitude of the fallout the abuse would have on my life. I'm nearly 40 years old and still in regular counseling, largely because the damage this woman inflicted on me, which has impacted nearly every facet of my life. I have forgiven her and made peace. But make no mistake: the scars will never go away.

                      My parents were very strict with me, but NOT ONCE did they intervene or provide safety. Not once did they confront her, ask questions or even ask me how I felt about the screaming and manipulation and degrading that took place on a daily basis.

                      A few years ago I broke down in front of my mother and asked her point blank, "WHY didn't you protect me? Wasn't I WORTH protecting?"

                      Her answer was that they thought I was so driven to be competitive that it was imperative I stay with this trainer (the irony is that the trainer had convinced us all we couldn't survive without her-- classic abuser tactic). In their minds, I wouldn't have wanted to leave. And so, they let me stay-- a child, who did not have the maturity, perspective or strength to know she was destroying her own life.

                      I forgive my parents for what they allowed while still acknowledging that as the adults in the situation, they should have stepped in to protect me. And if they couldn't do this for whatever reason, SOMEONE needed to. Someone needed to step in front of this woman and say "ENOUGH. No further. You are done here." SafeSport may not be perfect, but it's an effort to provide protection to children in the ways I (and so many others) never had.

                      One day when I was 17, the trainer completely flipped out on me about something ridiculous, and in that moment, I knew that it was time to make the decision for myself to finally walk away. I remember calmly riding my horse out to the fields by myself that day to jump and then the whole time jumping having a tremendous freedom and peace in my heart. I was still scared and I was sad, but the overriding sense was relief that this time was over.

                      Let the light shine in the darkness. Let chains be broken. Let justice be fulfilled.
                      Big hugs I’m sorry you went through that.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post

                        The messenger is a convicted child molester
                        I meant that the message is that GM is banned for life because of sexual misconduct. And that the GM defenders want the messenger (SS) killed. But I was not clear. I'm very sorry.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post

                          i presume an initial investigation begins when a complaint is made, whether they refer to it by that language I don't know.
                          Well, you presume wrong if you go by the published policies on the SS website, if by initial investigation you mean by someone trained to investigate these crimes. That is what I am saying.

                          I am not talking about GM, I have no facts to evaluate, so your condemnation of me as a defender is inapplicable. I am talking only about the published process’ flaws, and, to a lesser extent, how they may not be being followed based on feedback from someone who has experienced it. Both of these are troublesome concerns that decent people can and should worry about if we want accurate results from a process.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post

                            Ok, I will probably regret this but I am attorney and I have spent a lot of time working for people denied process. I am NOT making any claims about the accused here. I do not know the facts and cannot make claims about their veracity.

                            so, we have all seen the SafeSport flow chart posted about how the process works, whttps://uscenterforsafesport.org/wp-...-Process-2.pdf

                            we have also seen Kathy Serio’s Post about her experience.

                            the process flow chart purports that during the intake process, they have preliminary information gathering and initial contact with the involved parties. According to Kathy, there was an email sent hours before the release of suspension with Tommy. I do not find that sufficient. They did not interview him or provide any actual information about the claim so he could defend himself. It leaves me questioning whether they follow their posted policies.

                            Note on the flow chart that this limited “preliminary information gathering and initial contact“ is done before a “trained investigator” is assigned to the case. The interim suspension is also handed down before the trained investigator is assigned to the case. But the interim suspension is announced publicly, also before a trained investigator is even involved.

                            that is one area I believe could be improved. Or, at least, their description of it leaves me shaking my head.
                            Remember there is a difference between interim suspension and a final sanction. I am sure you understand that, but many people still seem confused about the difference.

                            Interim suspensions are delivered when there is enough preliminary evidence from the claim to believe the accused may be an active risk to minors. Similar to what a school might hand down to a teacher or coach accused of sexual misconduct. You remove the person ASAP to prevent abuse from continuing.

                            I agree it’s a touchy subject. But when you read about many of the high profile cases (Nassar, etc.), it comes up again and again that these people were reported repeatedly, yet no actions were taken for a myriad of reasons. The interim suspension attempts to address this problem.

                            Hopefully our society as a whole can change the overall perception of interim suspensions and recognize them as attempts to protect children, not the personal attacks that they feel like.


                            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by prairiewind2 View Post

                              I meant that the message is that GM is banned for life because of sexual misconduct. And that the GM defenders want the messenger (SS) killed. But I was not clear. I'm very sorry.
                              But I’m telling you Jim Giorgio is being given a plat form and he is a convicted child molester.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Texarkana View Post

                                Remember there is a difference between interim suspension and a final sanction. I am sure you understand that, but many people still seem confused about the difference.

                                Interim suspensions are delivered when there is enough preliminary evidence from the claim to believe the accused may be an active risk to minors. Similar to what a school might hand down to a teacher or coach accused of sexual misconduct. You remove the person ASAP to prevent abuse from continuing.

                                I agree it’s a touchy subject. But when you read about many of the high profile cases (Nassar, etc.), it comes up again and again that these people were reported repeatedly, yet no actions were taken for a myriad of reasons. The interim suspension attempts to address this problem.

                                Hopefully our society as a whole can change the overall perception of interim suspensions and recognize them as attempts to protect children, not the personal attacks that they feel like.

                                When you have to explain stuff to a lawyer....

                                Comment


                                • fordtraktor great opportunity for you to contact safe sport directly to ask them what language they use for initial claims, and what point they deem an investigation to have begun.

                                  As I said, I'm using particular words in a particular way that may not be how safe sport is using or defining them because I'm a layman trying to provide an explanation with common language.
                                  Let me apologize in advance.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post

                                    i presume an initial investigation begins when a complaint is made, whether they refer to it by that language I don't know.
                                    Yeah it would seem like it, but not quite! The complaint is made, whoever takes in the complaint performs what Safe Sport calls a "preliminary inquiry" to decide whether a) it's something Safe Sport should be investigating at all (e.g., sexual misconduct or an alleged violation of a different statute?), and b) whether it's "appropriate" to open a formal investigation (which I take to mean whether the allegation is sound/serious enough to merit an investigation). If yes to both, then a trained investigator is assigned.

                                    Personally, I can see where that ambiguity of who is evaluating the claim during that time could be improved, especially when it involves the question of interim measures.

                                    None of what I'm quibbling with here has any bearing on the GHM case of course (and I'm saying this for the benefit of other readers, not you ladyj, since I know you already know this!). As we've established, we're long past the point of interim suspension; the formal investigation has concluded and he has received a lifetime ban from all USOC-affiliated sport organizations. Seeing opportunities for improvement in the process does not make the current process illegitimate IMO.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post

                                      It’s probably accurate but failing to mention its free is kinda bullshit. Also Safe Sport has trained investigators. I get it. Through all these threads you don’t wanna believe your idols are POS’ and your an attorney. So you’ll find the one flaw. Kathy IMO is an asshole.
                                      Seriously? You don’t get it at all. Just because someone is an asshole to you doesn’t mean every word they say is a lie, as you admit as you say it is probably true he wasn’t interviewed before the interim sanction was handed down by a potentially non-trained investigator. So you are cool with that, right, because you don’t like her/him? I am not, I have defended some people in court I really didn’t like. That has no bearing on my ability to analyze the facts. Keep emotion out of it.

                                      I have not defended GM at all. I only asked people to wait with RG. Oh, so now we have MB, whom everyone condemned immediately and now it looks like he actually may have a self-defense claim....

                                      truth is usually best found if you drop preconceptions and keep an open mind. But who cares about truth, we have the internet!

                                      Comment


                                      • Another kids coach charged today

                                        https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/mobile/l...inor-1.4540965
                                        Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post

                                          Seriously? You don’t get it at all. Just because someone is an asshole to you doesn’t mean every word they say is a lie, as you admit as you say it is probably true he wasn’t interviewed before the interim sanction was handed down by a potentially non-trained investigator. So you are cool with that, right, because you don’t like her/him? I am not, I have defended some people in court I really didn’t like. That has no bearing on my ability to analyze the facts. Keep emotion out of it.

                                          I have not defended GM at all. I only asked people to wait with RG. Oh, so now we have MB, whom everyone condemned immediately and now it looks like he actually may have a self-defense claim....

                                          truth is usually best found if you drop preconceptions and keep an open mind. But who cares about truth, we have the internet!
                                          What makes you think the investigators aren't trained?

                                          Did you read the entire website and documents on the policies, procedures, and process etc, or just look at the diagram going around of the process? Big difference.
                                          Boss Mare Eventing Blog

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