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July 18, 2024

Owner of Charleston’s Sun Elite Gymnastics temporarily barred from participating in USTTA/AAU events – –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On April 20, 2015

Charleston, IL. (ECWd) –

The Executive Director and National Chair of the U.S. Tumbling and Trampoline Association, and Second Lt. Governor of the AAU Central Illinois District, Mrs. Patti Lingenfelter, has confirmed that Lawson, the owner of Sun Elite, has been barred from participating in events temporarily until more information is known about the ongoing State Police investigation that we wrote about (here). She did not state what the investigation entailed, or how long it would take.

Disclosure News Online has more information available at this link (here).


Image from Zac Lawson’s facebook page



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  • ECWDogs
    Posted at 20:29h, 20 April Reply

    Charleston’s Sun Elite Gymnastics temporarily barred from participating in USTTA/AAU events – –

  • disclosuretweet
    Posted at 21:56h, 20 April Reply

    Charleston’s Sun Elite Gymnastics temporarily barred from participating in USTTA/AAU events – – via @ECWDogs

  • J Clark
    Posted at 22:28h, 20 April Reply

    There are more falsehoods in this article than truths. Truth is that Zac Lawdon was in fact unable to attend the USTA National Qualifying meet this past weekend. Falsehood: his facility was unable to participate–don’t tell that to all of the state champions and state champion runner ups from Sun Elite this past weekend. Falsehood: gym was NEVEr padlocked by law enforcement OR ANYONE.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 05:44h, 21 April Reply

      Maybe you should check with Patti Lingenfelter in the link provided in the article and ask her if Lawson and/or his facility are or are not barred from participating until after the investigation…oh, and please define “unable to attend”

      • Chris M. Gaines
        Posted at 15:37h, 24 April Reply

        Source: AAU Youth Protection Handbook

        Suspicions or Allegations of Child Physical or Sexual Abuse 
        Reporting to Law Enforcement and/or Child Protective Services”

        Quote:   “An independent investigation can harm youth and/or interfere with the legal investigative process.  The AAU, its staff members and/or volunteers do not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity  of child physical or sexual abuse as a condition for reporting to appropriate law enforcement  authorities. As necessary, however, the AAU may ask a few clarifying questions of the minor.”

  • Chris M. Gaines
    Posted at 09:18h, 21 April Reply

    You should clarify your headline of this story you published, obviously. It should say “Zac Lawson is banned from participating in this associations events temporarily (name here of the association).” Period. Not that Sun Elite gymnastics facility is banned from them, because they are not according to this association I confirmed today in a phone call to that association. The athletes of Sun Elite gymnastics facility are not banned and actually competed this past weekend at this association event according to this association they said in a phone call today. You should make a distinction between the owner(s) of the facility being investigated and the employees, coaches and athletes NOT being investigated. Please make sure you publish accurate information about this in the future. Thank you.

  • Chris M. Gaines
    Posted at 10:23h, 21 April Reply

    I just got a call back from Patty and she said she was misquoted in this story and would be submitting a comment to clarify her statement about this matter. I hope you publish this comment of hers about this story and don’t “selectively edit” this information she provides you. Thanks John.

  • Chris M. Gaines
    Posted at 17:55h, 21 April Reply

    She (Patti) is not “doing the investigation” on Zack, the ISP is doing it…so obviously she doesn’t know “how long it will take” ISP to compete it. She called me back again today and said she spoke with Angela Howser about her being misquoted and obviously because of that…Angela and Jack Houser made changes to the original story they published on Monday, but Patti told me after she read it again it still had inaccurate information (misquoted by her) within it and was planning on calling her back to ask her to change it again.

  • Chris M. Gaines
    Posted at 14:01h, 24 April Reply

    Source: The AAU Youth Protection Handbook

    Quote:”The AAU does not investigate suspicions or allegations of child physical or sexual abuse or  attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of such allegations as a condition for reporting to  the appropriate law enforcement authorities.”

    I ask Patti about this quote in the AAU Handbook in a text message I sent to her cell phone. She replied this back to me.

    Quoted text message From Patti: ” I have no control of AAU. The USTA is just an allied member. Sorry.
    Patti Lingenfelter
    USTA/AAU “

    • Chris M. Gaines
      Posted at 09:03h, 25 April Reply

      John, thanks for continuing to publish my comments here…but, can you please fix the most recent comments I posted here that are cut off on the ends and unreadable in their entirety? Thank you. Have a nice day.

      • jmkraft
        Posted at 09:20h, 25 April Reply

        I published them as they were submitted.

        • Chris M. Gaines
          Posted at 11:56h, 25 April Reply

          I submitted them in their entirety I assure you of that, but for some reason obviously they were received by you partially deleted I assume, cut off on the right side of the column. I will re-submit all them again in their entirety asap and hopefully you will receive them in their entirety this time and then be able to re-post them so they make sense to the audience here. This information within them is important to understand I think. Thanks again John.

        • Chris M. Gaines
          Posted at 12:11h, 25 April Reply

          Source: AAU National Office Policy (published in its entirety on their website)

          Quote: ” Members of the AAU, including but not limited to coaches and/or volunteers, are not authorized to make statements on behalf of the AAU, or take any action(s) for the AAU, unless expressly and specifically authorized to do so by a National Officer.

          Patti was/is NOT authorized to make ANY statements on behalf of the AAU at this time regarding these allegations against Zack Lawson. Question remains, why did she do that? Will there be consequences for her actions? Legal ramifications? Lawsuit?

  • Chris M. Gaines
    Posted at 14:07h, 24 April Reply

    Source: AAU Youth Protection Handbook

    Quote: “LOCKER ROOMS AND CHANGING AREAS   The Amateur Athletic Union is concerned with locker room activities between minors, minors and 
    adults, adults being alone with individual minors in locker rooms and changing areas, with non‐ official or non‐related adults having unsupervised access to minor participants, and with  inappropriate behavior among adults in locker rooms.   As part of the AAU’s commitment to safety, the AAU recommends its clubs to publish practices for 
    locker rooms and changing areas. Clubs should include the following information in their Locker  Rooms and Changing Areas Guidelines: 
      Supervision. CLUB must have and describe its practices for supervising and monitoring 
    locker rooms and changing areas  
     Prohibited Conduct. CLUB’s guidelines must prohibit hazing, bullying, harassment and other 
    forms of misconduct, as set forth in the AAU’s Youth Protection Handbook”  
     “User of Recording Devices. CLUB’s guidelines must prohibit the use of a device’s recording 
    capabilities, including voice recording, still cameras and video cameras  
     Meetings. For individual meetings with a minor participant and a coach in a locker room, 
    the AAU recommends that at least one additional responsible adult be with the coach.    See Sample Guidelines in Appendix. “

  • Chris M. Gaines
    Posted at 15:05h, 24 April Reply

    Source: AAU Youth Protection Handbook

    “To the extent permitted by law, and as appropriate, the AAU will keep confidential the  complainant’s name on request, not make public the names of potential victims, the ACC– USED perpetrator or the people who made a report of child physical and sexual abuse to the authorities.”

    According to The AAU Youth Protection Handbook Zack Lawson’ (the accused) name should not of been made public by AAU or it’s representatives. Question is, why was it made public?

  • Chris M. Gaines
    Posted at 07:44h, 03 May Reply

    Any updates on this story you published yet? Why not? Any arrest yet? Did you FOIA request and receive the alleged search warrant for Sun Elite gymnastics facility.. that you said you did already in a previous article? Just curious. Thanks John. Have a nice day.

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