Ohio State Asking Court To Dismiss Claims in Lawsuit Involving Diving Coach

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

The Ohio State University Diving Club is asking a federal court to dismiss the claims against the club in a lawsuit that alleges a former coach sexually abused young divers.

Lawyers for the club argued the club can’t be sued without its consent under the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity, which generally protects the government from lawsuits, according to The Associated Press.

USA Diving and former coach Will Bohonyi, also are defendants in the lawsuit. USA Diving, which put Bohonyi on its list of banned coaches in 2015, has declined to comment.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are three female divers who say that Bohonyi sexually abused and exploited them and that USA Diving didn’t take enough action after banning him.

One of the women alleges Bohonyi “forced her to trade sex for diving coaching” — on a daily basis at one point — and demanded that she text him sexually explicit photos, according to The Associated Press. The lawsuit doesn’t say whether the divers reported him.

Eszter Pryor, a former diver with the Ohio State University Diving Club, appeared on NBC News’ Megyn Kelly TODAY show in June:

“When you invest your life into a sport, and your identity is created throughout that and within my own private community, which is a very wealthy community, I was known as Eszter Pryor the diver. And when this happened, my identity was changed because somebody like him had such an effect on me and had such an effect on this community that he changed it.” 

But when Ohio State hired him in September 2012 as a part-time assistant diving coach, he passed a background check and indicated on his application that he’d never been fired or asked to resign by previous employers.