10 Years in Prison for Gymnastics Coach

10 Years in Prison for Gymnastics Coach

Former Coach Contacts Young Teenager

A 27-year-old Plano man has been sentenced to 120 months in prison on charges of child exploitation. The man was known as a gymnastics coach to young students in the area. He was accused of contacting a former 14-year-old student with the intent of meeting the boy for sex. The boy's mother had become suspicious after she had seen a message from the coach on her son's Facebook, asking the child to send him pictures in his underwear.

Plano police interviewed the teen and learned that text and FaceTime communication had occurred between the two. Law enforcement took over his Facebook identity to communicate with the coach. When the coach suggested meeting at the mall and going to a hotel room, police followed him to the mall and arrested him there. It was discovered that the coach booked a hotel room prior to the supposed meeting.

The coach was sentenced to 120 months in prison, counseling in a sex offender rehabilitation unit, drug treatment, and mental health counseling.

Project Safe Childhood

The arrest of the coach comes as a result of Project Safe Childhood. Project Safe Childhood is a federal initiative aimed at combating child exploitation. Launched in 2006, the Department of Justice has seen a 40% increase in the amount of child exploitation cases that have been prosecuted..

In 2008, a year-long evaluation of the threat of child exploitation was completed. This evaluation revealed that there has been an increase in case so exploitation, significantly in the areas of:

  • Child pornography
  • Online enticement of children for sexual purposes
  • Commercial sexual exploitation
  • Child sex tourism

Since the threat of child exploitation remains, the agency has increased strategy to stop this crime by partnering with law enforcement, bringing awareness to concerned citizens, and pushing harsher punishments for those charged with the crime.