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An Indiana swim coach is facing federal charges of sexual assault against a minor and child pornography, reporters at the Indianapolis Star say. 29-year-old John Goelz is accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with one of his student athletes, a 17-year-old girl.
Charges came swiftly for Goelz, as did an admission of guilt. Law enforcement officials learned of a possible relationship between the Carmel High School assistant coach and one of his athletes on June 29, after a boy who had gained access to the girl’s Instagram account stepped forward with information. This is yet another case of school sexual abuse, in which an older man in a position of authority abused his power to ensnare a young student.
Private messages on the social media account, the boy told officials, spoke to a romantic relationship. The boy, named as John Doe in court documents, said he had confronted the girl shortly after finding the messages; she admitted to the physical relationship.
The text messages also revealed specific details of the relationship, according to WTHR. At one point, Goelz wrote, “I threw away the condoms so in case [my girlfriend] searches the apartment there’s nothing.” Goelz told the girl that he loved her several times.
Within 2 days, prosecutors had their search warrant, allowing them access to Goelz’s home and cellphone. In an interview on July 2, Goelz confessed to maintaining the illicit relationship since February. He and the girl would meet for sex at public parks, in his private home and at a hotel.
Goelz admitted to having filmed a sexual encounter in the hotel, hence the charge of possession of child pornography that now stands against him. The girl had confirmed key details of Goelz’s account several days earlier. Goelz was arrested Tuesday, July 3, 2018. He is in the custody of the US Marshals Service, with a detention hearing scheduled for July 10th in Indianapolis.
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“Protecting our youth from sexual predators will always remain a top priority of this office,” US Attorney Josh Minkler says. “Those we put in trust to supervise and coach our children cannot be allowed to take advantage of them and will face tough federal prosecution.”
Goelz has been a volunteer assistant swim coach at Carmel High School for three years, but is no longer affiliated with the school, according to school spokesperson Courtney Taylor. There is no word yet on when Goelz’s relationship with the school was terminated.
In a statement to the public, Superintendent Michael Beresford and Kristin Sherman, president of the Carmel Swim Club, wrote,
“Mr. Goelz served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Carmel High school swim team and was also a coach for the Carmel Swim Club. He is not a teacher or otherwise employed by Carmel Clay Schools.
We are shocked and deeply saddened this has occurred. We will evaluate the situation as more information becomes available and will continue to do all we can to keep our children safe. We ask that you respect the privacy of the family involved during this difficult time.”