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