Carmel assistant swimming coach sentenced to 16 years for child porn, exploitation charges

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UPDATE (Jan. 30, 2019)-- John Goelz was sentenced to 200 months, or more than 16 years, in prison. After his time has been served, he'll be on supervised release for 10 years.

Original story:

CARMEL, Ind. – An assistant swim coach at Carmel High School faces federal charges after prosecutors say he had sex with one of his athletes.

John C. Goelz, 29, is charged with sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography. U.S. Marshals took him into custody Tuesday. A detention hearing is set for July 10. The Carmel Clay School district said Golez is no longer affiliated with the school or the Carmel Swim Club.

John Goelz (Photo courtesy of Carmel High School's yearbook)

According to U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, law enforcement officials learned about Goelz’s alleged conduct on June 29. Investigators captured screenshots of text messages involving Goelz and a female athlete from the Carmel Swim Club and Carmel High School swimming team. The messages indicated inappropriate behavior dating back to February 2018.

Investigators secured a search warrant for Goelz’s home and cell phone. According to investigators, Goelz and the girl had sex at public parks in Hamilton County, his residence and a hotel in Anderson. The investigation found that Goelz filmed some of the sexual activity at the Anderson location with his cell phone; investigators found the video on his phone.

The investigation included U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force.

“These charges are especially disturbing given the defendant’s position of trust,” said Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons, Chicago HSI. “These allegations send a strong message to child predators that HSI is committed to bringing those who exploit children to justice.”

Goelz faces a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said. Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force at 317 595-3361.

A spokesperson for USA Swimming said  the U.S. Center for Safe Sport has been overseeing all cases of sexual misconduct in Olympic sport since March 2017. If the Center has a finding, it can be found on their website under the individual's name. John Goelz on Friday was made permanently ineligible from participating in any of the movement across the U.S. Olympic Committee. The spokesperson for USA Swimming said Goelz is no longer eligible for membership in USA Swimming given the ruling by the Center.

Carmel Clay Schools sent the following statement about the investigation and confirmed that he's been terminated from his position as coach:

Dear Carmel Clay Schools Swim Team Families and Carmel Swim Club Families,

Carmel Police notified us that John Goelz was arrested earlier this week. We wanted to share with you the following information we have received from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We have been advised that Mr. Goelz had an inappropriate relationship with a female Carmel High School student-athlete.

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. He is no longer affiliated with either organization.

We continue to be in communication with law enforcement in this ongoing investigation.

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.

Dr. Michael Beresford
Carmel Clay Schools

Kristin Sherman
Carmel Swim Club

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