FCN | Safe Sport: Her Tennis Coach Abused Her. Could the Sport Have Prevented It?

Article originally appeared in New York Times. Written by Matthew Futterman

Adrienne Jensen does not know Pam Shriver, the 22-time Grand Slam doubles champion, but both believe tennis needs to change its approach toward predatory coaches.

The grooming of Adrienne Jensen began with an invitation to train with a top junior tennis coach at a well-regarded tennis academy in suburban Kansas City in 2009.

To Jensen, then a promising teenage player from Iowa City who had struggled to find elite training, the offer felt like the ultimate good fortune, even if accepting it meant upending her family’s life.

Early on that fall, Jensen’s gamble seemed to be paying off as she trained with the coach, Rex Haultain, and played deeper into increasingly competitive tournaments.

“I felt like he was my ticket,” Jensen, now 27 and about to begin a career as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, said in a recent interview.

Soon, though, the praise and attention turned into demands for nude pictures and secrecy, and eventually sexual assault. Haultain, a New Zealand citizen, took a plea deal in 2013 for soliciting child pornography from Jensen, who was 15. He was sent to federal prison without the need for Jensen to face him at trial. The F.B.I. said in announcing Haultain’s deal that the coach eventually molested Jensen. She detailed the abuse to prosecutors, supported the plea agreement and publicly shared extensive details of her experience in a series of interviews with The New York Times and in a 2020 federal lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association and the club that hosted Haultain’s business.

Haultain was released in 2019 and deported. Matthew Hoppock, a lawyer for Haultain, declined to comment on his behalf.

READ FULL STORY: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/25/sports/tennis/tennis-predatory-coaches.html