An assistant swim coach with Carmel High School is facing federal charges after prosecutors say he filmed himself having sex with one of his student-athletes.
John C. Goelz, 29, faces charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler’s office announced Thursday.
Law enforcement on June 29 learned of a possible relationship between Goelz and a 17-year-old girl he coached at the Carmel Swim Club and on the Carmel High School swim team, according to court documents.
Carmel police were approached by a boy who said the girl had once given him access to her Instagram account, where he found a series of private messages that seemed to indicate there was a relationship.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for Goelz’s cellphone and home. In a July 2 interview with police, Goelz admitted to beginning the physical relationship with the girl in February, which included meeting for sex at public parks in Hamilton County, at his home and at a hotel in Anderson, the court documents said. Goelz also admitted to recording the encounter at the hotel with his cellphone.
The girl confirmed the relationship in a June 30 interview with police, according to court documents.
Goelz has been a volunteer assistant swim coach at the school since the 2015-16 season, Courtney Taylor, a spokeswoman for Carmel Clay Schools, told IndyStar. He is no longer affiliated with the school or the swim club, she said.
Chris Plumb, head coach of the high school team and the Carmel Swim Club, declined to comment when reached by IndyStar Thursday afternoon.
In a joint statement to parents, Carmel Clay Schools Superintendent Michael Beresford and Carmel Swim Club President Kristin Sherman said their respective organizations will continue to communicate with law enforcement as the investigation progresses.
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.
The Carmel girls team set a national record this year when it won its 32nd-straight IHSAA state swimming and diving title.
Last year, Carmel became the first public school since 1986 to have both the girls and boys teams win national championships, according to Swimming World Magazine. That championship is the fifth in a row and the eighth in nine years for the girls team.
Goelz was arrested Tuesday. A detention hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday.
He could face a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted, according to the release.
“Protecting our youth from sexual predators will always remain a top priority of this office,” Minkler said in a written statement. “Those we put trust in to supervise and coach our children cannot be allowed to take advantage of them and will face tough federal prosecution.”