Levy Konigsberg is investigating potential claims from victims who were sexually abused by Jonathan Wilhem, a Montana-based chiropractor who worked on the medical staff for Team USA’s bobsled team.
Wilhem, along with USA Bobsled and the Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), was recently named as a defendant in a New York lawsuit that accuses the chiropractor of repeatedly sexually abusing an Olympic bobsledder during treatment. Given Wilhem’s history of repeated abuse and exploitation, officials suspect that there may be other survivors who have yet to step forward.
If you or someone you love were sexually abused by Jonathan Wilhelm, you may have grounds to pursue a civil sexual abuse lawsuit and a financial recovery of your damages against USOPC, USA Bobsled, and other entities that failed to properly investigate Wilhem.
Levy Konigsberg is an award-winning trial practice known nationally for litigating sexual abuse claims and helping survivors fight for justice. To speak with an attorney during a FREE and confidential consultation, call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online.
Civil Lawsuit Details Claims Against Jonathan Wilhem, USA Bobsled
The dark history of sexual abuse committed by Jonathan Wilhelm has come to light in a high-profile civil lawsuit filed on September 20, 2023 by 2014 Olympic bobsled bronze medalist Aja Evans.
In the lawsuit, Evans claims that she was subjected to nearly a decade of sexual abuse and harassment by the chiropractor. She claims the abuse, which began in 2012, occurred during treatment when Wilhelm would touch and grope her genitals for no medical reason. The suit further alleges that it was common knowledge among athletes on the USA Bobsled team that Wilhem would, regardless of their injuries, find a reason to “go for the adductor,” a group of muscles located on the inner thighs.
In addition to claims of repeated sexual abuse and molestation, the lawsuit also accuses the Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), USA Bobsled, and Skeleton Federation of enabling Wilhem’s continued and pervasive abuse by fostering a “culture of silence” and failing to adequately handle complaints from athletes against the chiropractor, who had been previously accused of misconduct in the past.
This includes a formal complaint submitted in 2017 by Evans and a teammate accusing Wilhem of repeatedly videotaping and photographing them in various states of undress without their consent during treatment sessions and prior to competition at the USOPC training facility in Lake Placid, NY. The USOPC and USA Bobsled ultimately dismissed the complaint and failed to initiate any formal investigation against Wilhem.
How Civil Lawsuits Can Help Athletes Seek Justice Against Institutions that Turn A Blind Eye to Abuse
The lawsuit against Jonathan Wilhem, the USOPC, and USA Bobsled has made headlines for its striking similarities to claims made against Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor who was sentenced to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing female gymnastics.
Just as in the Lassy Nassar case, claims in the Wilhem lawsuit detail years of sexual harassment, molestation, and abuse that was allowed to persist because of the failures of the responsible athletic institutions. Rather than protecting their athletes, the suit alleges, the UOSPC and USA Bobsled enabled Wilhem to abuse athletes for years without consequences.
At Levy Konigsberg, our sexual abuse team has years of experience litigating high-profile claims on behalf of survivors who were sexually abused by doctors, coaches, and other individuals who held positions of trust and authority. In many of these cases, there was clear evidence that the responsible institutions overwhelmingly failed to protect victims, often because they prioritized their own reputations rather than the safety of those they were tasked to care for.
Fortunately, civil sexual abuse lawsuits provide survivors with an opportunity to not only seek justice and a financial recovery of their damages, but to also hold responsible entities accountable for their failures.
Do I Have a Case?
You may have grounds to pursue legal action if:
- You were sexually abused or exploited by Jonathan Wilhelm.
- The abuse occurred while Wilhem was a Chiropractor for the Team USA Bobsled team at any training or medical facility in the country.
As of September 2023, Wilhem has not been formally charged with a crime in connection to his abuse of Team USA Bobsled athletes or other female patients. However, because sexual abuse lawsuits are civil claims that focus solely on holding defendants liable for damages, survivors of Wilhem’s abuse are still eligible to pursue claims regardless of whether Wilhem is ever indicted in a criminal case.
Statute of Limitations for Civil Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Civil sexual abuse lawsuits are subject to a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations.
This statute of limitations can vary depending on specific factors, including the age of the victim and where the abuse took place. And while survivors generally have a limited amount of time to file suits, laws that have been passed in some states may provide additional opportunities to seek justice.
This includes the New York Adult Survivors Act, which created a temporary 1-year lookback window for sexual abuse survivors to file lawsuits regardless of when their abuse occurred. Some important things to note about the Adult Survivors Act and claims involving Wilhelm:
- Because Wilhem is accused of abusing a Team USA athlete at the USOPC training facility in Lake Placid, NY, the New York Adult Survivors Act may give survivors who were abused at the facility or other parts of New York an opportunity to file suit regardless of when the abuse occurred.
- The NY Adult Survivors Act’s temporary filing window deadline is fast approaching; survivors must file claims before the window closes on November 24, 2023.
Our team at Levy Konigsberg has helped hundreds of sexual abuse survivors file civil lawsuits under the New York Adult Survivors Act, as well as numerous others under state-specific statutes of limitations. If you have questions about the statute of limitations that applies to your potential claim and whether you have grounds to pursue legal action, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible.
How Much is My Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Worth?
While the value of your potential claim will depend on the specific facts involved, survivors of sexual abuse are generally entitled to a financial recovery of their damages. Given the complex effects of sexual abuse, and the fact that abuse has a long-term if not lifelong impact on victims, these damages can be substantial.
Recoverable damages in sexual abuse cases may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Costs associated with mental health treatment/therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish, fear, embarrassment, and anxiety
- Long-term mental health issues, including PTSD and depression
- Lost income and other economic losses
Call For a FREE Consultation: (800) 315-3806
Levy Konigsberg represents survivors of adult and child sexual abuse throughout the nation and has become known for litigating complex cases against some of the country’s most powerful institutions.
If you have questions about a potential sexual abuse lawsuit involving Jonathan Wilhem, the USOPC, or USA Bobsled and how we can help, we encourage you to contact us. Our firm offers FREE and confidential consultations and works on contingency, which means there is no up-front cost to hire our team and no fee unless we win.