Carmel High School and Carmel Swim Club coach John C. Goelz, 29, was arrested on Tuesday on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography. Goelz has been removed from the Carmel Swim Club website, but was a coach with the team and a volunteer assistant with the Carmel High School team.
U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler says that investigators believe that Goelz was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a female swimmer after obtaining screenshots of text messages that allegedly are between Goelz and the swimmers indicating a sexual relationship back to February 2018.
That led federal police to obtain a search warrant, where they obtained more evidence of sexual encounters between the two, including a cellphone video depicting sexual activity.
Goelz is being held by the U.S. Marshal’s Service with a detention hearing scheduled for July 10th.
The age of consent in Indiana is 16, so the sexual acts themselves are not overtly criminal. The video of the alleged sexual act, however, is what gives rise to the charges, as 17 is still considered a minor when it comes to child pornography. The child exploitation charge is a Level 5 felony, while the child pornography charge is a Level 6 felony.
Indiana Code 35-42-4-7 also gives rise to charges for “child seduction” in cases between school staffers and students, or coaches and athletes, but child seduction charges were not immediately filed.
Goelz has already been determined permanently ineligible by the U.S. Center for Safe Sport, effective Friday, July 7th. While not a provisional suspension, the U.S. Center for Safe Sport does label the “permanent suspension” as “subject to appeal / not yet final.”
The most storied high school team in Indiana, if not the country, the Carmel High School boys have won the last 4 Indiana State Championships and the girls have won the last 32 state titles.
Carmel High School and the Carmel Swim Club released a joint statement on the matter, including mention that Goelz has been terminated from his position with both organizations:
Dear Carmel Clay Schools Swim Team Families and Carmel Swim Club Families,
Carmel Police notified us that John Goelz was arrested earlier this week. We wanted to share with you the following information we have received from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We have been advised that Mr. Goelz had an inappropriate relationship with a female Carmel High School student-athlete.
Mr. Goelz served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Carmel High school swim team and was also a coach for the Carmel Swim Club. He is not a teacher or otherwise employed by Carmel Clay Schools. He is no longer affiliated with either organization.
We continue to be in communication with law enforcement in this ongoing investigation.
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 Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force has requested that anyone with more information about this case contact them at 317-595-3361.