Former Olympians sue Taekwondo coaching brothers for sex assault

Posted at 1:51 PM, Apr 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-27 15:51:49-04

Two former Olympic Taekwondo athletes have accused coaches and brothers Jean and Steven Lopez of sexual assault in separate lawsuits filed this week in US District in Denver. 

The women both describe instances where they were drugged or forced into performing sex acts with the men.

Heidi Gilbert alleged that long-time coach Jean Lopez wrestled her to the floor and began "dry humping" her until he ejaculated into his pants in a hotel room in Ecuador during the 2002 Pan American Championships. She also told the court that Lopez was sexually aggressive with her at a party in Germany in 2003 and gave her a drink that caused her to nearly pass out. The two ended up in a taxi where she claims Lopez groped her and later assaulted her at a hotel.

Amber Randall claimed her lawsuit that Lopez’s brother, gold medalist Steven Lopez, first took an interest in her while she attended a camp at the University of Houston in 2003 at the age of 13. The suit goes on to state the Lopez and Randall began to go on ‘dates’ a few years later when she was 17. The litigation recounts a number of sexual encounters between the two while she was a minor including oral sex and sexual intercourse.

In June of 2008, she described drinking Gatorade and vodka at a party in 2008 and later passing out. When she awoke, the owner of the condo where the party was held told her she had been raped by Lopez.

Earlier this month, the US Olympic Committee’s Center for SafeSport banned Jean Lopez from taekwondo for life after finding a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct. 

Lt. Howard Black of the Colorado Springs Police Department said his agency is aware of the accusations contained in the lawsuits and is actively looking into whether crimes were committed in Colorado Springs.  Gilbert’s attorney Daniel Lipman wrote in his complaint, "similar events between Jean Lopez and Heidi Gilbert took place in Colorado."

Both lawsuits state that that damages would exceed $75,000. They were each filed on Tuesday. However, Randall filed a notice to voluntarily dismiss her case yesterday.