Coach of a Kitsap swim team accused of groping 13-year-old student

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — The coach of a Kitsap swim team has been accused of groping a 13-year-old girl while holding a one-on-one practice with her.

A Kitsap County Superior Court judge on Wednesday found probable cause to hold the 47-year-old coach in the Kitsap County Jail pending charges and set bail at $25,000. He was arrested Tuesday for investigation of second-degree child molestation. He pleaded not guilty.

Q13 News typically does not identify suspects until they have been formally charged with a crime. This coach has not yet been formally charged.

According to the probable cause document, the teacher and the girl, who is a member of the swim team, held a practice session at the Kitsap Tennis and Athletic Center in Bremerton on May 28.

After the practice, the girl reported to her parents that during the two-hour practice, the coach “cupped and squeezed” her butt several times and told her, “I like touching your butt.”

The girl told a sheriff’s detective that while she was practicing her dives, the coach repeatedly cupped his hand around her butt and told her to keep her butt up while diving. At one point, she said, the coach laughed and told her, “I like touching your butt.”

The sheriff’s detective observed the surveillance video from another portion of the practice where the girl lay flat on her stomach on the water, and held a board out in front of her, while the coach stood behind her and held her ankles until she bent her knees and pushed off him. She then returned and they repeat the move.

During one of these attempts, the detective said, the coach lets go with his right hand and then reaches out and grabs the girl’s butt under the water and holds onto her butt “for approximately two seconds before letting go and then grabbing her ankle again and pushing her away.”

The coach’s next scheduled appearance in court is set for June 30.