Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Filed in New York Against George Morris, USA Olympic Silver Medalist, Former Team Coach

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George Morris. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Aug. 7, 2020

George Morris is being sued in New York by two men who allege they were raped as teenagers by the 1960 Olympic silver medalist and former United States team jumping coach.

The lawsuits were filed in Manhattan Supreme Court a year after Morris, now 82 years old who lives in Port Saint Lucie, Florida was permanently banned from equestrian sport after the U.S. Center for Safe Sport reported an investigation found “sexual misconduct involving a minor” decades ago. Filing of the lawsuits was first reported by The New York Times.

The Times said that plaintiffs in the lawsuits were two of the men who initially made allegations to SafeSport against the former jumper coach for the United States and then Brazil that led to the lifetime ban. An appeal by Morris against the finding was dismissed. 

The plaintiffs in the Morris lawsuits, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, are two of the men who initially came forward to SafeSport, prompting its investigation that led to the barring of Morris, who won a silver medal as a show jumper in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, and went on to coach the United States Olympic team and most recently the Brazilian team.

 
Bill Moroney, chief executive of the United States Equestrian Federation, said in a statement: “The actions of George Morris are reprehensible and those he abused should never have had to endure his unconscionable and despicable behavior. We stand with and support the brave victims and survivors who have come forward to share their experiences. USEF has zero tolerance for sexual abuse — past, present, or future — and has prevention policies in place to protect equestrians from sexual abuse and misconduct.’’

Jonathan Soresi, a New Jersey horse trainer, filed one of the lawsuits. He said he was in a sexual relationship with Morris when he was 17 and Morris was in his 30s. He alleged Morris assaulted him as his student in a midtown Manhattan hotel after a show jumping competition at Madison Square Garden.

The other plaintiff is not named and identified in the lawsuit only as A.G.1 Doe. He is a trainer and show jumper in his 50s who alleged that Morris brutally raped him in 1978 in a hotel in the Hamptons when he was 17 years old after an exhibition at the Topping Riding Club in Sagaponack, on Long Island. Topping is also named in his lawsuit.