Dozens of male gymnasts from Brazil have come forward to accuse their former coach of sexually misconduct.
Over 40 men say coach Fernando de Carvalho Lopes sexually abused them over the course of several years. The alleged abuse included watching them shower, touching their genitals, and asking them to masturbate in front of him during training sessions and on trips.
Many of the men were teenagers at the time.
Related: Why do people have so much trouble believing male victims of sexual assault?
“I was woken up more than once by his hand down my pants,” 26-year-old national team gymnast Petrix Barbosa tells the Globo TV show “Fantastico” in a shocking interview aired earlier this week.
Barbosa now lives in the Miami and won a gold medal at the 2011 Pan-American Games.
Lopes was removed as national team coach and put on administrative leave prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics after a complaint was lodged against them. He insists he never sexually assaulted anyone and says he has “a clear conscience.”
Related: Gymnast is first male to accuse USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual assault
Clube MESC in Sao Paulo, where Lopes worked as a coach, says it fired Lopes after the story broke.
Sao Paulo have confirmed they are investigating the matter but would not provide any more details because the case is under judicial seal.
Many have noted that the allegations are strikingly similar to those lodged against former US gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who admitted to sexually abusing some of the country’s top gymnasts, including while he worked at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.
Practically ALL the boys are drop dead gorgeous and the coach is indeed gay. He should have controlled his urges. It would suffice to me just to see them taking a shower occasionally in the locker room. But this guy was clearly a predator.
Billy Budd, thanks for your comment and honesty.
According to the logic being expressed here, heterosexual coaches should avoid good-looking athletes of the opposite sex to keep temptation at bay. SMH
As much as I know, straight men coaches do not visit girls’ locker-room, when they change clothes and take shower…without raising suspicion to say the least. Also, in case it is not clear, I am sure there are coaches able to control their urges (if they have any)…whether they are gay or straight.
To add another point, for some reasons in our societies, women’s breasts are considered highly erotic and hidden from public view, while men’s chest and tits are not hidden, though they actually are very erotic for gay men (and straight women). It is a double standard many do not understand.
P.S.: Of course, it does not change the fact coaches have to control their urges, but the situations are not exactly symmetric (Gay/Straight).
Sam6969 LOL … Sam, Your comments are ridiculous. If you can’t walk through a locker room full of naked under age boys without attempting to lure them into sexual situations, you have a problem.
The sight of men’s cheats and nipples is erotic? That’s news to me. You;d better refrain from going to any beach on a sunny day.
One of John Wayne Gacy’s potential victims escaped and went to the police. As soon as they found out he had willingly gone with Gacy they refused to check into his story. Neighbors of Gacy also complained of hearing screams coming from Gacy’s home and, again, this time probably because Gacy was known for contributing to police funds and it was males who were screaming, the cops did nothing. How many of those young men who were tortured and murdered could have been saved if the cops hadn’t been so wrapped up in their macho bullshit. These athletes might have been met with the same skepticism had they complained before this great metoo uproar.
“These athletes might have been met with the same skepticism had they complained before this great metoo uproar.”
Yes, very likely and although there is still high incertitude about the way these complaints will be legally treated, there is a ’before’ and an ‘after’ metoo movement. Some coaches will think twice about what they are doing.
Don’t forget the similar situation with Jeffrey Dahmer. At one point neighbors reported a naked, bleeding 14-year-old Asian American boy fleeing Dahmer’s apartment, but the 3 cops who arrived believed Dahmer, a white man, over the Laotian American child and the black neighbors who reported what they saw, and handed the boy back to him. Dahmer told them the teenage boy was a drunk adult and his lover, and they bought it! That child’s life and others’ lives could have been saved; instead, Dahmer reported killed the boy, and then 4 others after the cops had arrived, and killed 17 people over a series of years. Something similar involving adults occurred over the last few years in Toronto, with the serial killer there now accused of having taken 8 lives, 6 of them men of color, several of them immigrants to Canada.
The time period didn’t help with John Gacy either. Every time a boy was tortured and murdered by him, the parents of said child would report him missing to the police and every single time, the police would write the child off as a runaway and not get involved. That was the mentality in the 70’s. And it was waaaay too long before that changed.
The first few responses here creep me out, because they seem to be conflating homosexuality and ephebophilia, and legitimizing ephebophilia. They seem to assume that mature gay adults cannot be around teenagers and young people without sexualizing them or struggling not to proposition or assault them, and that is just not true. It’s outrageous and homophobic to argue that. In fact, if you are someone who cannot be around children without sexualizing them, whatever your sexual orientation, you have a problem and probably should get help. The vast majority of gay coaches and mentors of young people, like teachers or adults of any profession who are around children and teenagers do not harm them. It’s really bizarre for people to claim this, and says more about the claimants than anything else.
EXACTLY and on point…
This man is a predator (his sexuality is irrelevant to his crimes) and needs to be jailed…
Sometimes you are so intent on protecting the “reputation” of homosexual men that you are very willing to overlook things that are so obvious to the more objective minds. You frequently regard any revelation of bad behaviors by gay men as an attack against homosexuality. Your misguided and relentless crusade against homophobia, demonstrated in many of your comments, make your opinions on gay coaches and teachers biased and therefore dubious.
Petrix Barbosa is gorgeous! I had never heard of him.
The coach should go. These young men looked up to him for guidance and mentoring. He took advantage of that.
No, all one needs to be is NOT a predator.
To imply that most gay men are, is just wrong, and makes most suspect the motives of anyone that makes that implication.
What a sick comment. Most gay men know how to control their urges. You just don’t touch someone’s private parts without permission. That’s just common sense.
If you are at risk of “succumb[ing] to dirty thoughts”, go home and masturbate. Don’t molest children.
I think that has been a pretty easy rule to follow for most gay men who have ever lived.
Oh please, the first few postings on here are ridiculous. “Oh Gee, he needs to be strong willed etc…”
Two things the posters seem to be avoiding or leaving out.
1. He probably went into that job BECAUSE he was a predator.
2. The recent scandal with women gymnasts had some horrible incidents yet these original postings seem to want to try to make this an lgbt issue. Sounds like they’re trying to justify some of their own issues.
Firstly, some people here are playing maliciously with the ambiguity surrounding the age of the victims in the articles. We just know “many of the men were teenagers at the time” they were abused, according to the above article. I will address more precisely this question later in my comment, but I will start by saying in the following paragraphs, I will assume we are talking about teens and young men above the age of consent. It is with this in mind that I wrote my first comments and it was obvious to me that abusing underage children and/or a coach abusing of his authority to obtain sexual gratifications is unacceptable and condemned by law.
As a realistic and introspective type, I know myself very well and, as a keen observer of people, I also rather well know human nature. So, I do not take easily bullshit from people suggesting to me they would suddenly stop being attracted to young men they were attracted before, if they ever happen to be in a position of authority over them. However, I make a clear distinction between sexual urges or attractions (Id), the moral compass and the professional ethics (superego), as well as the way the ego, as an arbiter, deal with them and take decisions. It would be more honest to talk in those terms.
I decided to take (with not much development) this angle when I shared my thoughts, as what is a NORMAL inner process might tip over in favor of satisfying sexual misbehavior or just harmless “dirty thoughts” (Id), when the supergo is not strong enough and the temptation is high. So that it could lead to a repetitive pattern of acting out in someone, who was a “normal” decent human being in the first place… not necessarily someone, who was a calculating predator before starting the job. That is what I wanted to stress, as well as, maybe, invite for an honest introspection, not just an automatic judgmental response. Incidentally, we do not know much about the psychology and past of the coach incriminated. Of course, it does not change the fact he allegedly committed a “sexual misconduct”, as reported in the article.
There is no doubt in my mind MOST coaches, whether gay or straight, are respectful of the teens and young men under their responsibility and manage their inner world very well, compartmentalizing (for instance) things in the workplace. Of course, the more mature you are and the easier it is to process your sexual impulses (if you have any). The men whom you fantasize may even age with you.
I also pointed out the dissymmetry between straight men in charge of girls and gay men in charge of boys. I think there are safeguards in the first case, we do not expect when men deal with male teens and young men, such as not visiting the locker-room, when they change clothes and take a shower. So, I think it puts more to the test gay men in charge of male teens than straight men in charge of female teens. There is no homophobia involved here, just a realistic point of view. Again, I am fairly sure most of gay coaches pass the test of a professional enough behavior.
Someone talked about ephebophilia, which leads to talk about the age of consent.
First, a few facts:
-The age of consent ranges between 16 and 18 years old in the United States. It ranges mostly between 14 and 16 years old in Europe (if there is no relation of authority between the adult and the teenager). In France, for instance, it is 15 years old and 18 years old, if there is a relation of authority between the adult and the teenager. Of course, no threat or bribe must be involved and the parents can decide to oppose to the relationship (without penal consequences for the adult).
“Ephebophilia is the primary sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents, generally ages 15 to 19” (source). It is considered as a disorder by the DSM, only “if it results in dysfunction or exploitative behavior” (id.)
Therefore, Ephebophilia is neither automatically illegal or considered as a psychological disorder.
Personally, even if it is not against the law in my country (France), I have never had a relationship with someone under the age of 18 and I would probably not find it fulfilling. I have strong personal ethics and I have always refused, even if I had the possibility. On the other hand, it does not shock me if a serious adult has a relationship with someone between 15 and 18, as long as the age difference is not too big and there is no abuse of any sort. Famous celebrities in France have married teenagers, such as Robert Hossein, when he was 34, with Caroline Eliacheff (15 years old), daughter of Françoise Giroud.
I wanted also to point that out, because there can be cultural differences between Europe and the US, but it does not necessarily mean a country or a culture has to be wrong and the other right…
P.S.: I’ve talked with a lot of LGBTQ people and many lesbians told me they challenged the fact they were not always allowed to show publicly and freely their breasts (even on serious meeting websites), while men can show their bare chests. For them, it was either not sexualized at all in specific contexts (pushing forward the case of women in Black Africa, where many women work bare chest, without culturally exciting men), or if they were highly sexualized in some societies, then why not put nipples cover for men (like they can do in Japan on bare chest men pictures). They thought it was a double standard, as bare chest men can be seen as very erotic too.
Predators use all sorts of mind games to justify their crimes against children, including endless rationale and excuses.
Sam, I think you probably mean sexy, not erotic, when you think about a man’s bare chest. To most people, sexy is being, acting, or putting something on display which is sexually attractive. Erotic is being engaged in an act which is sexy…. Just saying.
CastleSF: “sexy is being, acting, or putting something on display which is sexually attractive”
In that sense, yes, that’s what I meant 😉
My physical education teacher used to watch us shower at school. I used to feel very self conscious about it at first but I actually grew to enjoy the attention.
Having said that, I do think that any abuse of power is wrong.
* Replace above: “succumb to dirty thoughts” by: “succumb to having dirty thoughts”. I do not expect people to believe me, but that’s what I thought it meant when I wrote it.
Comments are closed.