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News

LAWSUIT: Ex-Olympian Faces Suit From Equestrienne He's Accused Of Shooting

Lauren Kanarek and Robert Goodwin
Lauren Kanarek and Robert Goodwin Photo Credit: Lauren Kanarek/Robert Goodwin

Former Olympian Michael Barisone of Long Valley is facing a lawsuit from the 39-year-old equestrienne he is accused of shooting last August at his horse farm, a recent news report says.

Lauren Kanarek and her fiancé Robert Goodwin were incessantly harassed prior to the Aug. 7 shooting, according to the lawsuit -- filed against Barisone and his company, Sweetgrass Farms, NJ.com reports.

Barisone faces charges of attempted murder and weapons offenses, and is being held in the Morris County Jail without bail. A court appearance is scheduled for November.

The suit -- filed Friday in Morris County Superior Court -- says Kanarek was shot "without warning or provocation" multiple times in the chest at point blank range.

According to Barisone's attorney Jeffrey Simms, Kanarek and Goodwin had been "squatting" on his property. Barisone was in "constant fear" of them, Simms said, and police had been called several times prior to the shooting.

The lawsuit says Kanarek suffered permanent injuries in the shooting and is seeking unspecified damages for pain, suffering, emotional distress and medical expenses.

Michael Barisone

Michael Barisone Facebook

Days before the shooting, Kanarek -- a bronze medalist with the United States Dressage Federation -- wrote on Facebook that she was being bullied by a 6"3' man and feared for her safety.

"It’s very complicated," said equestrienne, 38. "I'm not sure of what I can say here, but it seems as if SafeSport was created for exactly this reason."

Later that week,  Barisone shot Kanarek after an argument, police said. He made a futile attempt at shooting Goodwin, who wrestled him to the ground until police came and suffered a broken wrist.

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