Matt Johnsen, a former high school swim coach in Ohio, has been added to USA Swimming’s permanent banned list after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual battery.
Johnsen was arrested last August and charged with two counts of sexual battery, accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with two girls between 2006 and 2008. Though the two victims were both over the age of consent (16 in Ohio), the sexual contact was still illegal based on Ohio law that incriminates sexual contact by someone in a coach-athlete position of authority over a victim. Johnsen was an English teacher and a swim coach at Hoover High School in Canton, Ohio. Johnsen had served in those posts for about 15 years and was a member of the Greater Canton Aquatic Association Hall of Fame.
Johnsen originally pleaded not guilty to the charges back in August. His trial stretched into this spring when a Feb 26 hearing was delayed after new evidence came to light in the case. The Canton Repository reported at the time that the evidence “involve[d] a computer the state didn’t know existed (until recently).” The trial was delayed as both the defense and the prosecution analyzed the evidence found in the computer, and less than a month later, Johnsen changed his plea to guilty.
Johnsen was also added to USA Swimming’s banned list yesterday, with his ban officially beginning on April 2. His ban is listed as “violation of the SafeSport Code.”