Police Investigate Moceanu's Father


Police are taking a second look at accusations that the father of Olympic gymnast Dominique Moceanu was involved in a possible murder-for-hire plot, officials said Friday.

"The case has been re-evaluated and it is now considered an open case," police spokesman Robert Hurst said. On Monday, police had said there wasn't enough evidence to warrant an investigation into the claims.

Related Links

Special report: Drugs and sports

Olympics audio

In court affidavits filed this week, the Olympian claimed her father had hired a private investigator to track her comings and goings.

She also said police officers informed her that her father had negotiated to pay a hit man $10,000 to kill a friend, 32-year-old Brian Huggins, and Luminita Miscenco, 26, the coach Moceanu credits with reviving her career.

A call to Katherine Scardino, a lawyer for Dumitru Moceanu, was not returned Friday. There was no answer at Dumitru Moceanu's home, and a call to his gym was not returned.

The alleged plot is the latest installment in the stormy relationship between the 17-year-old gymnast and her parents, whom she believes squandered her trust fund earnings in risky investments. A judge declared Moceanu a legal adult in October so she could begin taking stock of how her earnings were spent.

But since that time, the relationship between the 1996 gold medalist and her father has disintegrated to the point that a judge this week granted temporary restraining orders to Moceanu and her friends, Brian and Marcy Huggins. The couple helped Moceanu move away from her parents.

Dominique Moceanu
Gymnast Dominique Moceanu stands with her parents, Dumitru and Camelia, before a state district judge last month. (AP)

Although police won't discuss what new information has prompted them to "re-evaluate" attempted murder allegations, Moceanu's publicist and a former lawyer have said a secretly tape-recorded conversation, purportedly between Dumitru Moceanu and private investigator solicited to perform the murder, had been turned over to police.

"He was recorded by the person he was talking to, asking him (the private investigator) to do harm," Roy Moore, who represented Moceanu in her fight to become a legal adult, said Friday.

A hearing next Wednesday will determine whether the restraining orders should be made permanent.

© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved