A former swim coach at the Coffman YMCA and elementary school physical education teacher in Springboro, Ohio has been indicted by a Warren County grand jury on 36 counts of gross sexual imposition involving 28 first grade girls. He was arrested and taken into custody on Monday morning.
Investigators reviewed 90 days worth of security footage at the school where John Austin Hopkins worked – all that was available on the school’s surveillance system. After interviewing 88 first-grade girls at Clearcreek Elementary, the grand jury decided to indict Hopkins related to 28 of them.
Among the allegations presented by prosecutor David Fornshell was that video showed him groping and sexually assaulting the students.
“He is placing many of the girls on his lap, straddling him in what I would describe as a sexual manner. With respect to some of the girls, his hands are going up their shirts, both the front side and back sides of their shirts, reaching up under the skirt, grabbing their buttocks. That’s what we saw mostly with respect to these interactions,” Fornshell said in a press conference.
Watch the press conference, courtesy WHIOTV:
Hopkins resigned from his teaching position and coaching position in March.
According to Ohio law, if Hopkins were convicted, each charge would be attached to a mandatory prison sentence of between 12 and 36 months.
The Coffman YMCA is a USA Swimming member club, in addition to its status in the YMCA, though Hopkins’ name does not yet appeared in the US Center for SafeSport’s database of suspended or banned coaches. Historically, the US Center for SafeSport has used criminal charges or indictments as justification to issue at least a temporary suspension.