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Paralympic swimmer accused of raping special needs teammate denies all allegations

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Two months after a federal lawsuit was filed against him accusing him of raping a special needs teammate, attorneys for gold-medal Paralympic swimmer Robert Griswold have denied all allegations levied in the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the now 19-year-old plaintiff was born with autism and suffered from developmental delay and intellectual disability their entire life. They didn't begin speaking until the age of six and currently only have the mental capacity of a five-year-old.

The lawsuit explains the plaintiff, a Paralympic athlete and former teammate of Griswold, defied "all odds" to get where they were only to have their life "utterly shattered by rape and abuse when [they were] paired with a team member who was a violent sexual predator."

The lawsuit claims these abuses took place during the 2020 Tokyo games and afterwards when Griswold moved to Colorado Springs to train at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs (OPTC).

In a newly filed federal court document, attorneys for Griswold admit that he competed during the 2020 Olympic games and won medals during those games. They admit that he and the 19-year-old "victim" and Griswold were two of five athletes sharing a suite in the Athlete’s Village at the 2020 Paralympic Games.

His attorneys concede that Griswold "was temporarily suspended as a member of the 2022
National Team and was temporarily suspended from training at the OPTC or competing."

Griswold's attorney's say he "denies all allegations of his alleged conduct or acts and lacks sufficient
information as to the truth of the remaining allegations," in response to the hundreds of allegations outlined in the initial lawsuit filing.

13 Investigates attempted to reach Griswold's attorneys for more information on the denials. We are waiting to hear if they are willing to comment further.

The Colorado Springs Police Department told 13 Investigates back in November 2022 that Griswold is being investigated for criminal charges related to these allegations. The CSPD said due to this being an ongoing investigation, they can't provide any further information.

A spokesperson issued this statement regarding their ongoing investigation:

"These types of investigations are incredibly complex and time consuming. The victims in this investigation, have circumstances that we need to take special care with and may not currently be within the state. The investigation of this nature requires probable cause, a lawsuit only needs a preponderance of the evidence to move forward. Since this is a very sensitive victim group the investigation will move at the pace the investigators deem necessary to complete and potentially bring forth charges if the evidence meets the burden of probable cause."

Robert Tornabene, Colorado Springs Police

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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