Ken Stopkotte Files Defamation Lawsuit a Year After Criminal Charges Dropped

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 7

February 01st, 2013 National, News

Former Indiana club and high school swim coach Ken Stopkotte has been laying low since charges of stealing money from the Hamilton Southeastern School District were dropped in early 2012.

He is now sliding back into the forefront as he has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation and Mel Goldstein, founder and director of YMCA Indy SwimFit (and former US Masters Swimming president, though that role is unrelated to this case). The case was filed this week in Marion County, with Jon Little representing him.

“Ken Stopkotte was damaged emotionally and financially by the phony criminal charges,” said Little. “This lawsuit will hold the School District and the YMCA’s Mel Goldstein accountable for Stopkotte spending ten days in a Tennessee jail awaiting extradition to Indiana during the Thanksgiving Holidays and for a lifetime of shame suffered by the malicious prosecution.”

The complaint states that the defendants’ conduct and false statements to the police and court instituted or caused to be instituted a prosecution against Stopkotte in the form of eight counts of D-felony fraud. It is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.

Read the full filing here.

“There was no evidence or even an allegation that I used the money for personal use,” said Stopkotte. “Nowhere in the Official Affidavit for Probable Cause did it state that I personally misused or otherwise used the nearly $17,000 in question for my own personal benefit. Rather the document refers to me depositing the money into a “private account” for Swim Club expenses.”

Neither Goldstein nor the Hamilton Southeastern School District returned an immediate quest for comment, though we will provide an update if they do.

In addition to the criminal charges against Stopkotte, he is serving a 2-year ban on USA Swimming membership and a 5-year ban on membership with Indiana Swimming in a settlement after being accused of falsifying results for his swimmers. Stopkotte, also in 2010, filed a formal complaint with the USOC against USA Swimming, as he believed that he was retalliated against after commenting on sexual abuse in the sport on the explosive now-famous 20/20 piece on the subject.

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The leaders in USMS deserve very close scrutiny. Just puttin’ that out there for ya!


If you are going to make a comment like that have the conviction to speak specifics. If you don’t have the needed level of conviction keep it to yourself. If you know something you need to report it to the proper authorities. Be productive.

There’s just a lot of shady stuff going on with that organization. If you look, you’ll see my comments elsewhere.


Both of your comments have no solid facts – ” just sayin” & “look for my comments elsewhere” is useless in this forum. If you have something to say, then say it. I’m not going to go looking for your comments – no time for that. Comment or don’t comment

If you’d like to know about the real USMS, what they don’t want you to know, go here: The blog is written by Julie Heather, the 2009 USMS Ransom Award recipient who was so repulsed by the behavior in USMS and its manipulated grievance proceedings, she threw her Ransom Arthur Award in the trash. I’ve had a similar experience with USMS, and a similar reaction. I guess when you treat people like they did us, you end up with disgruntled former members who have no problem speaking candidly and publicly about what’s really going on. It may seem like an unkind thing to say, but the truth really hurts if you’re USMS. So, when I say the leaders of… Read more »


Interesting how a masters coach has anything to do with this. Stopkotte was the club and high school coach at Fishers. I believe he was fired by the Fishers team which has nothing to do with masters or YMCA.

James Smith

It appears Ken is in trouble again, he failed to appear on two more cases and now the Secret Service is after him for stealing checks. Guy may want to rethink his choices before prison is his only future.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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