USA Fencer Sues Coach Alleging Physical Abuse

A former world-ranked USA fencer has filed a lawsuit alleging that she was the victim of athlete abuse by her coaches and let down by the governing body of her sport.

Sophie Keehan and Coach BeckerSophie Keehan sued William Becker and four fencing groups in Maricopa County Court, Arizona. She seeks damages for negligence and assault and battery, from Becker, the United States Fencing Association, the Rocky Mountain Section of the United States Fencing Association, the United States Fencing Association Arizona Division, and the Fencers Club of Arizona.

Keehan claims that her mother, Terese, filed a safe sport complaint with the United States Fencing Association against Becker about his physical and emotional abuse. A panel reviewing the complaint found Becker’s conduct “constituted physical misconduct,” but Becker was not banned from coaching, according to the complaint filed by Indianapolis, Indiana athlete abuse attorney Jonathan Little.