Pennsylvania Swim Coach Jonathan Bell Arrested on Sexual Abuse Charges

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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Another blow for swimming as a whole. Male coaches need to keep their f***ing pants on. It’s also a two way street – high school girls need to learn to say NO and mean it. This girl surely didn’t seem to have a problem with it at the time if she even agreed to video and they did it 12 times!!! Awful behavior on both parts – I say hold them both accountable!!!

Sad … Mitch Ivey was the first “big name” to bring shame to the sport. And you never would have suspected that he woul do what he did if you had known him as an age grouper / high school swimmer.

Such a shame! And he was my art teacher at Exeter too! Never would have execpted it out of him!


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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