Home Crime Former member of US national climbing team arrested on child rape charges in Seattle – The Independent

Former member of US national climbing team arrested on child rape charges in Seattle – The Independent

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Former member of US national climbing team arrested on child rape charges in Seattle – The Independent

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Alex Fritz, 28, was charged with three counts of child rape and accused of having sexual contact with junior athletes as young as 12 years old
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Alex Fritz, right, being interviewed at a Canadian competition in 2018
A former member of the US national climbing team has been arrested on child rape charges in Washington state, authorities said.
Police in Redmond, an outlying city of Seattle, said on Tuesday that they had charged Alexander Fritz, 28, with three separate counts of third degree child rape.
The police force said he was accused of having sexual contact with junior athletes as young as 12 years old in the US and Canada following a tip-off from child abuse investigators.
Mr Fritz was previously a team member for USA Climbing, the national governing body of American sports climbing, and Redmond Police said he coached junior athletes at the Vertical World climbing gym in Redmond.
A Facebook post from Vertical World in 2015 suggests that he oversaw girls and boys aged 14 to 18 on both the gym’s team and the national team, though police did not say whether any charges related to that time.
USA Climbing said it had suspended Mr Fritz in December 2020 after advice from the Center for SafeSport, a non-profit with legal powers to investigate sexual abuse in sport.
Mr Fritz is in county jail with a bail of $500,000 (£369). It was not yet clear on Wednesday whether he has entered a plea.
“USA Climbing is deeply disturbed by the allegations,” said chief executive Marc Norman. “As an organisation that prioritizes the safety and protection of our members, we want to thank the U.S. Center for SafeSport and local authorities for their collaboration in promoting that goal.”
Board president Bruce Mitchell added: “We are absolutely committed to creating a safe environment for the entirety of our community, and call upon our athletes, parents, coaches, gyms and all members to remain vigilant and report any suspected abuse.”
Mr Mitchell also thanked individual athletes who had “relieved painful experiences” by reporting the case.
The Facebook post, from Vertical World in September 2015, offers “an update from coach Alex Fritz” at the World Youth Championships in Arco, Italy, describing the results in various competition categories including girls’ age 14-15 and boys’ age 14-15.
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Alex Fritz, right, being interviewed at a Canadian competition in 2018
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