Gymnastics coach charged over alleged sexual abuse of teenage girls

Tuesday, 07 September 2021 11:32:43 AM

Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad detectives have charged a gymnastics coach, who is barred from working with children, as part of an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse of young gymnasts.

In July, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad commenced an investigation following reports a girl had been sexually abused by her coach during gymnastics training.

Initial inquiries revealed the man had been refused a Working With Children Check in 2016, with his current status being barred.

During the course of the investigation, a further four girls reported being sexually abused by the coach during their training sessions.

Following extensive inquiries, detectives arrested a 54-year-old man at a home at Leonay about 11am yesterday (Monday 6 September 2021).

The man was taken to Penrith Police Station, where he was charged with engage in child-related work without clearance/application, eight counts of intentionally sexually touch child aged 10-16 years, intentionally sexually touch child under 10 years, sexually touch person 16-17 years under special care, and sexually touch person 17-18 years under special care.

Police will allege in court the man sexually touched five girls – aged between nine and 17 – on numerous occasions between January 2020 and June 2021, while they were students under his care.

He has refused bail to appear at Penrith Local Court today (Tuesday 7 September 2021).

Investigations are continuing.

The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate matters against children and adults, including sexual assault, serious physical abuse, and extreme cases of neglect.

Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

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