Former USA Climbing coach sentenced for sexual abuse

October 7, 2022 GMT

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A former coach for Team USA Climbing has been sentenced to five years in prison for the sexual abuse of two girls.

The Daily Herald of Everett, Washington, reports that 28-year-old Alexander Fritz was charged in February with four counts of third-degree child rape after two 15-year-old girls he met through climbing reported he abused them from 2016 to 2019.

Fritz pleaded guilty in July to the four counts, deputy prosecutor Jarrett Goodkin said at a sentencing hearing Thursday in Snohomish County Superior Court.

An investigator with the U.S. Center for SafeSport had contacted Redmond detective Marshall Tolbert about several allegations that Fritz had “relationships” with youth athletes.

Fritz was involved in climbing for more than 20 years. He was a coach for the U.S. Olympic Climbing Team in 2018 and 2019.

Fritz apologized for his actions Thursday in court.

“I promise that I will do everything in my power, both in incarceration and afterwards to seek help in the form of deviancy programs and therapy and any other resource that is available to me in order to make those improvements and better myself,” he told the court.