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Summit County Charges Olympic Gold Medalist With Three Counts of Sexual Misconduct

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Derek E. Baird/Flickr Creative Commons
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Park City resident and Olympic gold medalist Jimmy Shea has been charged by the Summit County Attorney’s Office with one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child as well as two counts of sexual battery for alleged crimes committed during 2020. 

 

Shea’s attorney, Rudy Bautista, says his client adamantly denies the “unfounded” charges and believes they are part of an ulterior motive.

 

The charges allege that the 52-year-old Shea abused a young female he knew on three occasions last year.

 

Shea is known for winning the gold medal in skeleton at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. He ran for the Republican nomination to represent the 53rd District in the Utah House of Representatives in 2006 and formerly served on the Utah Economic Development Board.

 

The first charge of aggravated sexual abuse of a child does not involve rape or sodomy, but rather the inappropriate touching of the child’s private parts that could cause severe psychological injury to the victim during or as a result of the offense. 

 

The sentence for a conviction of aggravated sexual abuse is 15 years to life and requires mandatory imprisonment. 

 

The two counts of sexual battery are Class A misdemeanors and involve intentionally touching the private parts of a child that the person knew, or should have known would likely cause alarm to the person touched. 

 

The charges were filed on March 24. A protective order was issued for the child on March 11. 

 

Summit County Attorney Margaret Olsen wouldn’t comment on the case, citing their longstanding office policy and that prohibits the county from commenting on pending criminal cases.

 

Shea made his initial court appearance Monday morning. Bautista told KPCW his client didn’t enter a plea – that doesn’t happen until the arraignment. But he says his client denies the allegations.

 

"We believe that there are several issues going on here that these charges are either fabricated or it's a child who's seeking attention,” Bautista said.

 

Bautista went on to say that all touches are not illegal and they are oftentimes easily and innocently explained; he says they will prove this.

 

“They have to be for sexual gratification and there's absolutely no evidence that anything, if anything was done was for sexual gratification, and so we believe that these charges are completely unfounded, and we're looking forward to being able to vindicate him and get these charges either dropped or if we have a jury acquit him,” Bautista said.

 

Bautista added that the case has just begun and that there is still a lot of investigating to be done.