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Christine Tuzi breaks silence after alleged abuse by her coach

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Photo Courtesy: Goh Shu Hui Gina/ VB SportsWeb Blog

Former volleyball player Christine Tuzi breaks her silence 3 decades after the alleged sex abuse by her club volleyball coach Rick Butler.

In an interview, she says, “The first time we had intercourse, he used no protection at all and it hurt really bad. He had me climb out the bedroom window.”

Christine was only 16 years old when the alleged abuse took place in 1983 while her coach was 29. She said that her coach shoved her against the sink in the tiny galley kitchen of his Carol Stream, Ill. Apartment west of Chicago stuck his hand down her pants and kissed her on the mouth.

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Tuzi breaks her silence to support her friend, Sarah Powers-Barnhard, another former Sports Performance volleyball player who says she too was molested by Butler in 1980s.

“I’m doing this to support Sarah, that’s a no-brainer,” says Tuzi, who still lives and works in Illinois. “I don’t want her to stand alone.”

In 1995, USA Volleyball issued Rick Butler a lifetime banned after Tuzi, Powers-Barnhard and another former Sports Performance player, Julie Romias (then Julie Bremner), testified against him.  But five years later, the sport’s national governing body, reinstated Butler as an administrator, although he is still barred from coaching girls in USA Volleyball events.

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Christine Tuzi is now a mother of 2 children and she’s already 48 years old. But the wounds of the incident that affected her physically, emotionally and sexually for more than 3 years in the early to mid-80’s is still there and still carries all the grudges from that incident.

Photo Courtesy:  Goh Shu Hui Gina/ VB SportsWeb Blog

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