Olympic gold medalist Jim Shea facing charges following accusations of inappropriately touching a child
His attorney says charges are unfounded
Update: The first-degree felony count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child was dismissed in August 2021. Shea pleaded guilty to the two misdemeanor charges.
Former Olympic gold medalist Jim Shea Jr. is facing criminal charges after prosecutors say he inappropriately touched a child.
Shea, 52 and a Snyderville Basin resident, was charged in 3rd District Court in Summit County last week with a first-degree felony count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and two counts of sexual battery, both class A misdemeanors.
Charging documents accuse Shea of touching the child on three occasions.
Shea is best known for winning a gold medal in skeleton during the 2002 Winter Olympics and is one of Park City’s most prominent winter sports athletes. In 2006, he unsuccessfully campaigned for a seat in the Utah House of Representatives.
An attorney representing Shea, Rudy Bautista, said in an interview that his client did not commit a crime.
“The charging documents use provocative words that do not speak to the specific allegations in this case,” he said. “… We will be able to show in court that (these charges) are completely unfounded.”
Bautista added that “there is absolutely no corroborating evidence” against Shea.
Shea made his first court appearance Monday. A judge ordered Shea not to have contact with the accuser, but Shea was not scheduled to enter a plea in the case. His next court hearing is scheduled on April 5.
Conviction of a first-degree felony carries a possible sentence of up to life in prison. A class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
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