At a press conference, Plaintiff, Jon Landstrom and his attorney Patrick Noaker will announce that they have filed a civil lawsuit in Ramsey County District Court against the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), the head coach of his Roseville-based AAU Swimming team, David Luedtke and Assistant Coach David J. Beardsley, for sexual abuse committed by David J. Beardsley.
According to the Complaint, Jon Landstrom, now age 55, was twelve years old when he reports that he was first sexually abused by Beardsley. Landstrom was a swimmer with the Roseville Stingrays AAU Swimming Club, which was a club chapter of the AAU.
Landstrom reports that the sexual abuse by Beardsley began in April of 1973 after a swim meet and continued for years afterward during and around swimming practices and events.
From information that is publicly available, David J. Beardsley was involved with the Boy Scouts before becoming involved as a youth coach with the Roseville AAU swimming team. According to a Boy Scouts of America Ineligible Volunteer Perversion file found on the Los Angeles Times website and the Noaker Law Firm website, in 1972, David J. Beardsley was terminated as an Assistant Scoutmaster with St. Paul BSA Troop 66 when a parent reported Beardsley being sexually inappropriate with his son at the Tomahawk Scout Camp. This information was kept in the Boy Scouts’ secret Perversion Files. There is no evidence that the Boy Scouts of America or the local Indianhead Council notified law enforcement authorities at the time they received the abuse report. Consequently, it appears that David J. Beardsley was then able to gain access to children through the AAU swimming program, where he then sexually abused Jon Landstrom.
The AAU has been under fire for failing to be proactive in its protection of child-athletes for years. Beginning in 2011, ESPN broke the story that Memphis Police were investigating reports that AAU President and Chief Executive Officer Robert “Bobby” Dodd had sexually abused athletes in the 1980’s.
In July 2015, the AAU announced it had initiated and independent review of it practices and procedures, “especially those that relate to our youth,” in the wake of an ESPN inquiry about Volleyball Coach Rick Butler, who had been banned for life from coaching girls volleyball by USA Volleyball, after an ethics panel found that he had sexual contact with three former players.
In August 2015, seven former AAU Taekwondo Junior Olympic medalists filed suit against their AAU Coach Craig Peoples, for years of sexual abuse while they traveled around the world to compete in tournaments. (See CNN Story.)