REDMOND, Wash. - Redmond Police arrested a former member of the USA Climbing Team on three charges of third-degree child rape.
Authorities accuse 28-year-old Alexander Fritz of having sexual contact with underage athletes as young as 15-years-old years old. Fritz was a coach and ‘route-setter’ at the Vertical World climbing gym in Redmond, and was a member of the U.S. National Team.
A U.S. Center for SafeSport investigator reached out to Redmond Police on Feb. 2, 2021, alleging Fritz was sexually involved with underage athletes. The organization investigates sexual abuse of minors and amateur athletes, and compiled documents and interviews regarding Fritz's case.
According to the findings, Fritz is accused of having sexual contact with an underage girl in Canada, Bothell, Mukilteo and Redmond.
Others came forward and interviewed with Redmond Police, including athletes, parents of athletes and a manager at a climbing gym that Fritz frequented. Authorities forwarded those findings to the FBI due to the allegations of crossing state and country borders.
Redmond Police arrested Fritz on Feb. 2, 2022, and he is currently being held on $500,000 bail in the Snohomish County Jail.
The USA Climbing Team issued statements after learning of Fritz's arrest.
"USA Climbing is deeply disturbed by the allegations. As an organization that prioritizes the safety and protection of our members, we want to thank the U.S. Center for SafeSport and local authorities for their collaboration in promoting that goal," said Marc Norman, CEO of USA Climbing.
"We are absolutely committed to creating a safe environment for the entirety of our community and call upon our athletes, parents, coaches, gyms and all members to remain vigilant and report any suspected abuse," said Bruce Mitchell, President of USA Climbing’s Board of Directors. "We especially want to thank those individuals who, in some cases reliving painful experiences, reported this matter to the U.S. Center for SafeSport."
"If you or your family has knowledge of sexual misconduct or sexual assaults by Fritz, please contact the Redmond Police Department at 425-556-2500," said Jill Green of the Redmond Police Department.
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