Jennyfer Roberts to Sue USOC, USAW and Colin Burns

A case has been filed by Jennyfer Roberts in the Orange County Superior Court against Colin Burns, USA Weightlifting and the US Olympic Committee. This is the latest action in a case that has been ongoing since March 2017, when Roberts alleged that Burns raped her at a competition in April 2016.

The Orange County Register has published a series of articles that feature quotes from Jennyfer Roberts that give her side of the story and are critical of SafeSport and USA Weightlifting:

Colin Burns denies the allegation of rape but has declined to talk further about the case.

Timeline of events:

  • April 2016 – Jennyfer Roberts and Colin Burns both compete at a Rio 2016 test event in Brazil
  • March 2017 – Roberts contacts USA Weightlifting, alleging that Burns raped her in her hotel room at the Rio test event. USAW passes jurisdiction to SafeSport, partly because of the conflict of interest caused as Burns was an athlete representative on the USAW board.
  • February 2018 – A SafeSport investigation concludes that Burns committed “non-consensual sex acts” against Roberts. He is banned from sport for ten years. SafeSport also state that he lied to their investigation and an additional two years is added to his ban as a result.
  • July 2018 – An arbitration panel rules that SafeSport had not proved that Burns had non-consensual contact with Roberts. His original ten-year ban is overturned. His ban for lying to investigators is upheld but reduced to eighteen months
  • March 2019 – Roberts files a case with Orange County Superior Court against Burns, USA Weightlifting and the US Olympic Committee
  • August 2019 – Burns will be eligible to compete and coach again

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