Celebrated gymnastics coach accused of sexual misconduct
Steve Chamraz reports Video by wtmj.comvideo
MILWAUKEE -- A respected local gymnastics coach is accused of sexual misconduct in a federal wrongful termination lawsuit against his school.
Stacy Maloney has been a fixture at the Swiss Turners Gymnastics academy in West Allis for decades.
His coaching has resulted in Olympic-caliber athletes, including 2004 gold-medalist Paul Hamm.
Attorneys for a former Swiss Turners employee filed a civil suit in federal court Tuesday, alleging she was fired by the school in retaliation for refusing a 2009 sexual advance from Maloney.
Sarah E. Banck of Mequon worked at Swiss Turners for from 1999 to 2011 and claims she was denied promotions and eventually terminated after her refusal.
The lawsuit describes the incident as taking place after Maloney and Banck left a bar in downtown Milwaukee in June, 2009.
"Mr. Maloney ran his hands down plaintiff's arms, put his hands on her waist and the small of her back, and pulled her body close to his," the 13-page document reads. "Mr. Maloney tried to kiss plaintiff in this fashion multiple times; however, each time plaintiff was able to avoid, outwardly reject, and refuse his unwelcomed advances."
Reached by phone Friday afternoon, Stacy Maloney emphatically denied his former employee's claims.
"I did nothing but nice things for that woman," he said. "She's a bitter person and is just trying to get money."
She's seeking damages for emotional distress and loss of wages.
The civil complaint also accuses Maloney of allowing a "sexually charged atmosphere" at the gym, including sexual conduct between students and teachers.
Maloney again denied those allegations.
"None of it is true, none at all," Maloney said. "They have no facts. They have no anything."
An attorney for Banck declined to comment beyond the statements made in the civil complaint, saying "the case speaks for itself."