San Jose parents left in dark for months after swim coach fired

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Parents say they were left in the dark for months that their kids' swim coach had been fired for allegedly sending explicit text messages to his team members to solicit nude photos.

Timothy Nguyen, 25, was arrested by San Jose police last Thursday.

Lips sealed -- that was apparently the instructions of the leaders of the Quicksilver swim team after one of their assistant coaches was let go after some alleged misconduct. San Jose police say there are three known victims so far, all of them minors, yet police didn't know about this case until the end of May.

Nguyen was let go back in January.

Parents tell ABC7 News that they had no idea why the assistant coach abruptly left the Quicksilver swim team earlier this year. But we have learned the reason was a closely guarded secret among the team's coaches and board.

A veteran swim coach found out during a regional swim meet on March 31, two months before his alleged misconduct was reported to San Jose police. She learned why he had been fired by the team's head coach.

"There was a coach that had been fired for inappropriate sexual contact and actions with minors on the team, and they were instructed to keep their mouth shut. But if they had information to go to the police," Salinas Aquatic Center CEO Dia Rianda said.

Nguyen had been with the swim team for about a year, but until his arrest last week, he was also an assistant swim coach at San Jose's Pioneer High School. No cases of misconduct have been reported at the school.

As trained to do as a swim coach, Rianda reported the alleged conduct to swimming's governing bodies. But she says the one that handles sexual cases, the U.S. Center for Safesport, did not respond. "I think their response needs to be quicker and possibly coaches need to be suspended temporarily pending investigation, especially when things are reported this serious."

USA Swimming confirmed it was aware of Nguyen's arrest. Safesport would not comment. "The center does not comment on reports or active matters because we do not want to compromise the integrity of our investigations or the confidentiality of anyone reporting," they said.

Quicksilver coaches would not talk to ABC7 News on camera.

Attorney Robert Allard has represented various victims of sexual abuse in swimming. "I'm now convinced that they have not taken this seriously whatsoever. They have no intention to do so," he said.
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