Figure skating coach Genrikh Sretenski, who was arrested today on a warrant from New York, is being accused of molesting a teenage figure skater in his hotel room in a $5 million lawsuit.
Salvatore Zambri, the unidentified girl’s attorney, did not say whether the criminal charges in New York and the lawsuit, which was filed in Maryland, were related.
The Associated Press reports that lawsuit stems from an incident that occurred in July, 2011. Sretenski allegedly molested one of his skaters while they were in Lake Placid, N.Y., for a skating competition. The lawsuit says that the girl, an “elite, nationally acclaimed skater,” quit the sport soon after the incident.
Sretenski’s attorney Rene Sandler said:
“He denies anything improper. Yes, absolutely.”
According to Salvatore Zambri, who filed the lawsuit on the unidentified girl’s behalf, “Sretenski’s denial makes his conduct all the more reprehensible.”
The lawsuit claims that Sretenski sent more than 500 text messages to the girl telling her that he loved her and that he “goes crazy” when he looks at her.
The Wall Street Journal notes that the incident happened at the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championship. Sretenski allegedly brought the girl to his room, sat her down on his lap, and started to kiss her. The teenage girl told her coach to stop and left the room.
The lawsuit claims that Sretenski continued to text message the girl after the incident despite her protests.
Sretenski competed in Europe during the 1980s. In 1988, he placed fourth at the Olympic Games in Calgary with Natalia Annenko.