Home Scandal and Gossip Misunderstanding? Olympic gold medalist Jimmy Shea charged with child sex abuse in...

Misunderstanding? Olympic gold medalist Jimmy Shea charged with child sex abuse in Utah

SHARE
James Shea Utah Gold medalist charged sex abuse
Pictured, James 'Jimmy' Shea Utah Gold medalist charged sex abuse. Image via police bookings.
James Shea Utah Gold medalist charged sex abuse
James Shea Utah Gold medalist charged with sexual abuse of 12 year old child. Pictured in 2002 after gold medal win in Skeleton competition in Salt Lake.

James Shea Utah Gold medalist charged with sexual abuse of 12 year old child, as man’s lawyer insists there was misunderstanding when he patted girl on the bottom. 

A gold medalist in sledding at the 2002 Winter Olympics has been charged with sexual abuse of a child in Utah, authorities said. The sporting great’s lawyer contends the charges are unfounded and the result of a ‘misunderstanding.’ 

James ‘Jimmy’ Shea made his first court appearance Monday on one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and two counts of sexual battery. The incidents occurred in 2020, court documents show.

According to a probable cause statement, officers were called to an area of unincorporated Summit County on March 6.

That visit followed a Children’s Justice Center interview in which a 12-year-old girl reported to a school counselor that she had been sexually abused, KSTU reported.

The affidavit states the girl was ‘patted on her butt’ in at least two incidents from last year and it made her uncomfortable.

James Shea Utah Gold medalist charged sex abuse
Pictured, James ‘Jimmy’ Shea Utah Gold medalist charged sex abuse. Image via police bookings.

Loving and affectionate touching

The child also claims Shea rubbed her back under her clothes and reached around and put his hand on her breast.

The affidavit states that Shea said he had never touched the girl under her clothes.

Shea’s attorney, Rudy Bautista, said Tuesday that the charges are a result of a family dispute and a misunderstanding about what his client contends was loving and affectionate touching. 

‘There is absolutely no corroborating evidence,’ to the charges, Bautista, told The Park Record.

Shea, 52, plans to plead not guilty to the charges that he thinks should be dropped, Bautista said.

The Associated Press isn’t identifying the relationship of the alleged victim to Shea to protect the child’s identity. In general, the AP does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual abuse.

Shea won gold in the skeleton competition at the 2002 Salt Lake Games and is a third-generation Olympian.

Skeleton involves athletes racing headfirst down the ice at about 80 mph on a sled that looks like a large lunch tray.

SHARE