ROCKVILLE, Md. — It’s been 30 years. Danielle Bostick had been holding back a secret — something her friends, parents and her husband didn’t know. It was back in 1984 when the then-seven-year-old swimmer met the man who would be a source of grief and pain for years to come. His name: Christopher Huott.
Huott was a swim coach in his 20s, who worked with kids at Fairland Aquatics Center in Laurel, Maryland. He knew Bostick’s mother was dealing with a divorce, so he not only agreed to coach the young swimmer, but served as a babysitter for the girl.
It was in a young Bostick’s home that Huott molested and raped the young girl. The abuse carried on for five years, until Bostick was 12 years old.
For years, she says she locked those memories away. She even had contact with Huott years later and at one point, she says, “he had tried to confess before, but I completely blocked it out.”
But after years of anxiety, depression, nightmares and a diagnosis of post- traumatic stress disorder, Bostick finally reached her breaking point, and after talking with her husband she went to Montgomery County Police.
She was concerned investigators might be unable to pursue a case that happened so many years ago, but the investigator assigned to her case, and “treated me as if the assault had happened the day before,” she says.
With police listening in, Bostick made a call to the man who abused her; within minutes, he admitted he’d abused her and went into detail about the attacks.
“I was not ready to hear the extent of the abuse, the depth of the abuse,” Bostick says.
Huott was arrested, and after a plea deal was reached with state prosecutors, a judge sentenced Huott to 10 years in prison, followed by three years of probation. However, since the crime happened before the registered sex offender list was created, Huott will not have to register as one.
With the man who abused her behind bars, Bostick, now 37 years old, says she came forward to empower those who may be in a similar situation, giving them the courage to also come forward even if the abuse happened many years ago.
At sentencing, Bostick and her husband made a tearful plea to the judge to lock up Huott, now 53 years old, for 10 years.
Witnesses for Huott painted the picture of a man with a clean criminal record, who up until this case, did much to help children excel in the sport of swimming. Two of the witnesses for the defense were parents of kids that worked with Huott.
Biyi Gbadehan was one of those parents, and says the sentence was too long. When asked if he would trust Huott to work with his children in the future, “I have no problem doing that because he is a good man,” Gbadehan says.
John Maloney, Deputy States Attorney for Montgomery County, applauded the judge for imposing the maximum sentence in this case.
“Whether it happened yesterday or whether it happened 30 years ago, we will prosecute this case and ask for significant sentences,” Maloney says.