USA Skateboarding's Neal Hendrix accused of molesting teenager

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Skateboarder Neal Hendrix has been accused of sexually assaulting an underage skateboarder over a period of two years. (Getty Images)
Skateboarder Neal Hendrix has been accused of sexually assaulting an underage skateboarder over a period of two years. (Getty Images)

Neal Hendrix, a pro skateboarder and USA Skateboarding executive committee member, has been accused of improper sexual contact with an underage skateboarder. ESPN reported that the police are currently investigating and USA Skateboarding has placed Hendrix on interim suspension.

Hendrix’s accuser is Julie Lynn Kindstrand Nelson, a 25-year-old professional skateboarder who goes by “Julz Lynn.” According to ESPN, Kindstrand Nelson gave police in Costa Mesa, California, a six-page letter that detailed the accusations in mid October. She also gave the letter to espnW.

The letter, also provided to espnW, states that when she was between the ages of 14 and 15 and Hendrix was in his early 30s, she performed sex acts on him at his request. The letter also states that he masturbated in front of her, photographed and took videos of her while she was naked and showed her pornography involving underage girls.

In an interview with ESPN, Kindstrand Nelson revealed that Hendrix groomed her, taking advantage of her grief and vulnerability when her grandparents died. He started bringing her to his home for “sex lessons” not long after they met in 2006, when she was 14. The misconduct lasted until 2008, a year after she turned pro. In her career, Kindstrand Nelson has won several medals at competitions and has been a fixture on the pro circuit. But it took time for her to find the courage to come forward and tell her story.

“My experience with Neal was very traumatic,” Kindstrand Nelson told espnW. “It has taken me several years to process what happened to me and many more years to find the courage to stand up and say something. I hope that other young girls who dream of being competitive athletes do not suffer the same fate.

“As young athletes, girls are very susceptible to sexual predators.”

Kindstrand Nelson also gave her letter to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Hendrix, now 45, has been skateboarding professionally since 1991 and won numerous medals at the X Games in the 1990s and 2000s. He played a major part in getting skateboarding accepted as an event for the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and has also worked as a color commentator for televised skateboarding competitions. Currently, he’s the worldwide brand manager for Camp Woodward, an action sports and gymnastics company owned by a major ski resort operator.

ESPN reported that Camp Woodward has placed Hendrix on administrative leave while SafeSport conducts its investigation.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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