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Md. Swim Coach Accused Of Sexually Abusing Former Student

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Jessica Kartalija 3 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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LAUREL, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland swim coach is arrested and accused of sexually abusing a former student.

As Jessica Kartalija explains, officials say the abuse started in the mid 1980s, when the victim was just 7 years old.

Christopher Huott, 52, is a popular swim coach in the Laurel area. The owner and founder of Maryland Suburban Swim Club, he rents a lane at the Fairland Aquatic Center to coach his students.

Parents whose children swim were hit hard by the news that Huott had been arrested.

“It’s very disheartening. Very disheartening,” one woman said. “So sad that you can’t trust an adult. He’s a coach.”

Montgomery County Police say a young woman he had coached told police last month Huott had engaged her in sex acts numerous times while she was a minor. To the parents whose children he also coached, those accusations are stunning.

“It’s just shocking. My daughter swam with him in middle school and I know some people still involved. It’s really sad,” one parent said.

On his website, Huott says his swim club dates back to 1986. Because of his access to so many children, investigators are concerned there may be more victims out there.

“To entrust your kids in the hands of people you think are responsible, and at the end of the day you find out they are not as responsible as you thought, it’s very discouraging,” one parent said.

But for most of the parents at the swim club, their thoughts are with the alleged victim.

“My heart breaks for whomever is involved with this. Very sad,” one woman said. “I hope it gives more girls courage to speak up.”

U.S.A. Swimming–the governing body of most swim clubs across Maryland–requires background checks on their coaches.

The swim coach is being held on $50,000 bond.

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