Pennsylvania Swim Coach Jonathan Bell Arrested on Sexual Abuse Charges

  66 Braden Keith | August 07th, 2012 | National, News

As investigations into alleged inappropriate sexual acts by Virginia coaches Rick Curl and Noah Rucker are heating up, a new one has begun up the coast in Pennsylvania. Jonathan Bell, a coach of Governor Mifflin High School near Reading has been accused by a former student of an inappropriate sexual relationship.

According to the state Attorney General’s office, a criminal complaint has been filed by a former student claiming that the two had intercourse between 10 and 12 times from December of 2010 and June of 2012. The student was 17 when the relationship began.

The complaint was filed on July 5th by the assistant superintendent of the school district. Among the accusations are that Bell asked for, and received, nude photos and videos, that he performed a sexually explicit act on her and video taped it, and had at least one sexual interaction by the pool on school property.

After the complaint, detectives listened in on four phone calls between Bell and the alleged victim between July 23rd and August 6th. In one of those calls, Bell asked “Are you upset that it happened before you were 18?”.

The report didn’t specify how many of the accusations happened before the victims 18th birthday.

Bell was an art teacher, as well as a coach of the swimming and water polo teams.

The charges filed are two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, one count of corruption of minors, and one count of criminal solicitation. He is being held in Berks County Prison with bail set at $200,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Next Monday.

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Marisa Rebuffe Lorah says:
August 31, 2012 at 6:17 amI worked at several Reading law firms,

Marisa Rebuffe Lorah says:
August 26, 2012 at 6:45 pmI do not work in Berks County

Note:Reading is in Berks County

Marisa Rebuffe Lorah

Yes, I have worked at several Berks County law firms. I do not currently work anywhere. Is that a contradiction?

Marissa i’m excited to see the outcome of this case so we can all see what a moron you are jon has been victimizing females and children for years and when he gets to his new home he will be someones plaything now thats justice

Marisa Rebuffe Lorah
It’s too bad that none of these girls felt they could go to their parents and tell them that they were being sexually abused by a teacher/coach. In Europe, sports are not included in school curriculums. Students must attend after-school clubs to participate in sports. I know. I lived there. People are more fit in Europe and most speak several languages. My son’s French half-sister swims, is a high diver, an equestrian, and may do other sports as well. She speaks four languages and has an M.B.A. The main conundrum here is why the “victims” did not go to their parents at the first alleged indecency by their coach. I think they will be pummeled in court by Atty. Sodomsky.… Read more »

The law says they have six years from their 21 birthday to report this do Marissa you truly are an idiot

Well said Dave. I ignored her when she said she worked for 5 different Lawyers in Reading then claimed to never have worked in Reading. She then runs on an on about how great the laws are in France. If they are so much better then why the hell does she not move back?

Marisa Rebuffe Lorah

I worked at several Reading law firms, two in San Diego and one in Boston. Until Jonathan Bell has been proven guilty, by law he is innocent. Period. Did you read my letter in the Reading Eagle?

So you sign the letter Spring Township and do not live in Spring township?

Marisa Rebuffe Lorah

I currently live in Spring Township. Moved here from Boston, moved there from Mission Valley in San Diego. Also lived in France and Belgium. What does that have to do with Jonathan Bell?

If you look at your entire thread your background story keeps changing. So it basically goes against the credibility of all your posts. I would also assume future employers will be doing internet searches on you prior to hire, and based on these numerous posts on this site, as well as others, good luck in finding a job.

I am more concerned that a mother of a child believes that a 15 year old can consent to sex. For the protection of the child, that needs to be legally addressed.

Marisa Rebuffe Lorah

Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.

Marisa Rebuffe Lorah

An investigation will be performed as to whether the girls were on the Pill, their medical histories will become evidence, whether they were sexually active prior to or during the alleged attacks – their characters can and will become an integral part of the trial (if it gets that far) by subpoenaing former boyfriends, etc. The law is very intricate. I worked for law firms in three states. I worked on many very interesting cases in San Diego. Some verdicts are shockers. One case in particular ended up with the defendants paying millions to the plaintiff who won only because he had ONE highly credible (lying) witness.


I met Jon Bell in College. We were on the swim team together. I initially looked up to him but then my better judgement cuaght up with me. Most of our mutual friends would sence something was off with him as well and we would often say how something like the crimes he aledgedly commited could one day happen. If only we could go back in time and report him then. To some it up I am not surprised this he is acused of this or that it started back in 2003.


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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