Retired Olympic gymnast and sexual abuse survivor Aly Raisman has joined members of the hockey community in expressing support for former NHL player Kyle Beach after he identified himself as the "John Doe" in a sexual assault allegation against a former Blackhawks coach.
Beach, 31, who currently is playing professional hockey in Germany, revealed himself as the person who made the allegation in an interview with Canada's TSN on Wednesday night. Beach said he was sexually assaulted in 2010 by former video coach Brad Aldrich during the team's run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Beach told senior members of the Blackhawks staff, but no action was immediately taken against Aldrich, according to an internal probe that was made public Tuesday.
The release of the report led to the resignation of Chicago general manager Stan Bowman and a $2 million fine against the team while sending shockwaves across the sport.
"For me, I wanted to come forward and put my name on this," Beach told TSN. "To be honest, it’s already out there. The details were pretty accurate in the report, and it’s been figured out. More than that, I’ve been a survivor, I am a survivor. And I know I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one, male or female. And I buried this for 10 years, 11 years. And it’s destroyed me from the inside out. And I want everybody to know in the sports world and in the world that you’re not alone."
Aldrich did not deny a sexual encounter occurred with the player known as "John Doe" but said it was consensual, according to the internal report. Aldrich didn’t return messages from NBC News seeking comment. His attorney declined to comment.
Raisman, 27, who has been an advocate for survivors of sexual abuse since speaking out about her own abuse by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, lauded Beach for his courage.
"Kyle Beach I support you & I believe you," Raisman tweeted on Thursday. "Thank you for your bravery. I hope you know you are helping so many. I stand with you."
Rachel Denhollander, a former gymnast who was the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault, also commended Beach.
"I am so deeply grateful for Kyle Beach and what he has done to shine a light in such dark places," Denhollander tweeted Thursday.
"But the cost to survivors of being put in such a position, carrying the weight of trying to save others while healing from the abuse is a burden no survivor should be saddled with."
Former ice hockey player and four-time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser expressed her support.
"Kyle Beach you are a brave man," she tweeted. "You have and will change hockey culture forever. Much respect."
Aldrich now runs a glass manufacturing company in Michigan and is on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry after being convicted in 2013 of having sexual contact with a 16-year-old player while volunteering as a coach at a high school in Michigan.
Beach cried in the TSN interview when asked about the teen player abused by Aldrich.
"I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t do more, when I could, to make sure it didn’t happen to him," he said. "To protect him. But I also wanted to say thank you to him. Because when I decided, after a teammate asked me about it when I was playing overseas, and I decided to Google Brad Aldrich’s name and that’s when I found out about the Michigan individual, the Michigan team. And because of what happened to him, it gave me the power and the sense of urgency to take action, to make sure it didn’t happen to anybody else.
"So, I’m sorry, and I thank you. And I hope at some point down the road, if he’s open to it, I would love to meet him. Because unfortunately, we share something in common – it’s going to be a part of us for the rest of our lives."
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