September 26th, 2013
02:21 PM ET

Former Figure Skater Speaks Out Against Abuser

Eighteen-year-old Morgan Grant was once considered one of the best figure skaters for her age in the United States.  Then she had a shocking experience with her trusted coach and everything changed. CNN's Pamela Brown reports.

Grant was an ice dancer who was well on her way to compete for the United States at the highest levels. Her family hired coach Genrikh Sretenski, an accomplished ice dancer, who represented the Soviet Union at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

According to Morgan and her father, that coach turned out to be a predator.

In the middle of a competition at Lake Placid in 2011, he asked 16-year-old Morgan to join him in his hotel room to talk about the competition, or so she thought.

She says, "He closed the door and reached behind me to turn off the light, then pushed me against the wall. And he started kissing me. And he is 50-years-old and a smoker. And I was like really overwhelmed with everything that was going on. He pushed me onto the bed in the hotel room and climbed on top of me and started touching me inappropriately and the kissing continued. And this lasted for about 20 minutes, I don't remember a single thought that ran through my head during that moment, but I know that I finally looked up and said, it's late I have to go. And thank god he listened."

She says over the next few weeks, Shretenski began sending her suggestive text messages and eventually she told her dad.

After criminal charges were filed, the coach entered guilty pleas to misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and third-degree assault.

As harrowing as that experience was, it turns out that Morgan Grant is not alone.

Across the country, nearly a dozen male figure skating coaches have  been suspended by the U.S Figure Skating Association over the past three years for inappropriate behavior.

The national governing board says it's so concerned, that it's thinking about creating an outside agency to police coaches behavior.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Cindy Fletcher Holden

    I agree with Blake, we were never giver Genrikh's story. He was blasted by the press before any kind of justice was even considered. He was my coach, and I stand by him.

    October 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  2. Blake

    For those of us who actually know Genrikh will always stand by him because we know that this story leaves a lot of important details out. It's a shame that a silly little girl who just wanted some attention was able to destroy the career of well respected coach. Hopefully the next time she makes an accusation, she is aware of the consequences that will stem from it. If you don't want to be defined by the situation, don't go to CNN about it.

    October 21, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Reply
    • Morgan Grant

      Blake,
      Feel free to email with any more thoughts you have on the situation at morgan.grant95@gmail.com. Also if you would like any "important details," such as where he touched me and how long the abuse lasted, or perhaps how he told me that I would never be anything important without him, I'm an open book.
      Well respected people are only well respected until they're not. I actively sought him out as a trusted adult and mentor and he abused that trust. But by all means, stand by him. He needs more people in his corner. He's the real victim here.

      November 24, 2013 at 12:54 am | Reply
  3. julie44256

    It is a tragedy that this bright, talented young woman feels shame for something someone did to her. Hold your head up proudly, Morgan, you did nothing wrong.

    October 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  4. Christine

    This is a horrible thing to have happened to her, but I feel she shouldn't give up on the sport she loves so much. I watched a couple YouTube videos of her skating, and she appears to have real talent and potential. Don't let that creep take it away!

    September 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Reply

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