High school swim coach receives 200 months for sexually exploiting student-athlete
Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh Minkler announced today the conviction and sentencing of a former swim coach with Carmel High School and Carmel Swim Club, John Goelz, age 30, to 200 months in federal prison after his admission of guilt to charges that he sexually exploited one of his student-athletes.
“Today’s sentence sends a strong message to those whom we put trust in to supervise and coach our children, that this behavior is illegal and those who take advantage of our children will face real consequences,” said Minkler. “Protecting our youth from sexual predators will always remain a top priority of this office.”
Goelz exploited his position of trust and authority with one of his student-athletes, a minor, for his own sexual gratification. From at least September 2017 through June 30, 2018, Goelz first built the victim’s trust as her coach and confidant, and then began enticing the victim to engage in sexual acts with him. During that time period, Goelz contacted the victim via text messages and other messaging applications that concealed the conversations to arrange sexual encounters at locations such as Goelz’s residence, community parks, and motels.
On June 30, 2018, Goelz used his cellular telephone to take videos of the victim engaging in sexual activity with him at a motel room in Anderson, Indiana. Two video files, along with multiple images, were recovered by federal investigators on Goelz’s cellular telephone after the execution of a search warrant, depicting the victim engaging in oral sex with Goelz. Computer evidence showed that the video files were filmed with Goelz’s phone.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force.
“This is yet another example of a selfish and criminal act on the part of an individual who took advantage of a position of authority over a child,” said Lieutenant Cameron Ellison, Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force. “Cases involving adults in such positions have become far too common in our society. Each member of our community should take note of these cases, commit to remaining off the sidelines, and communicate with law enforcement when these types of abuses are suspected. It was a community tip that led to the investigation, arrest and prosecution in this case. Law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities, at all levels, will continue to work together when such allegations are made. We will work together, with laser focus, to first protect our children, then to investigate these crimes and separate the individuals responsible from our children and society.”
“Sexual exploitation is one of the most depraved crimes committed against humanity and this case is especially disturbing given Goelz’s position of trust,” said Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons, Chicago HSI. “This sentence serves as a reminder that HSI is committed to collaborating with its community partners to bring those who exploit children to justice.”
According to Assistant United States Attorney MaryAnn T. Mindrum, who prosecuted this case for the government, Goelz must also serve ten years of supervised release following his sentence.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the Office’s firm commitment to prosecuting those who exploit or harm children and to work closely with Project Safe Childhood. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan 4.1 and 4.2
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