Judo Official Quits After Sexual Abuse Allegations

Last month we introduced you to Fletcher Thornton, a member of USA Judo’s executive board. No we didn’t literally introduce you to this guy, that would be a little scary - especially if you were a teenage girl.

USA Judo

We introduced you to the allegations that Thornton drugged and sexually molested teenagers he had coached in the late 1970s. The allegations that came to light as a result of a blog post written by one of USA Judo’s top athletes, Ronda Rousey on her own Web site and message posted on JUDO FORUM. Along with these allegations, Rousey also mentioned that USA Judo had ignored the accusations against Thornton.

Today THE NEW YORK TIMES reports that Thornton has resigned, “A statement by USA Judo said that Thornton resigned Friday, effective at midnight. He was in Orlando, Fla., to referee Junior Olympic matches at Walt Disney World on Friday.”

The report adds, “At least three athletes gave sworn statements claiming they were molested or inappropriately touched by Thornton, who is more than 20 years older than they are. Other athletes gave sworn statements saying that Thornton had provided them with marijuana and alcohol, mostly on trips for judo.”

Thornton’s resignation comes just one day after the United States Olympic Committee announced that it would begin an independent investigation into the claims.

One of the women who claimed to be molested by Thornton called his resignation “wonderful news.”