Former Fishers swim coach held in Texas after capture in Mexico

Stopkotte in custody of U.S. Marshal

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. - Former Fishers swim coach Ken Stopkotte is awaiting extradition to Tennessee after he was captured in Guadalajara, Mexico Friday for being in the country illegally.

He was deported from Mexico, and is currently being held at the Harris County jail in Houston, Texas, multiple sources confirm to Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney.

He is a fugitive wanted out of Williamson County, Tenn. for four separate Failure to Appear warrants related to theft, domestic assault and false report to police charges.

Stopkotte is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshal.

Authorities had been looking for Stopkotte for several months after he failed to appear in court in April.

According to Deputy U.S. Marshal Danny Shelton, it will be a matter of weeks before Stopkotte returns to Tennessee.

Stopkotte was arrested Feb. 20 by Franklin, Tenn. police on suspicion of stealing checks from the First Presbyterian Church. He was supposed to appear in court April 9, but did not show up.

The former swim coach was also supposed to appear in court April 12 on charges stemming from three additional cases involving domestic assault, theft of over $1,000 and false reports to police.

As the Call 6 Investigators reported last month, federal records show the United States Secret Service has filed a warrant to seize at least one of his bank accounts.

In an affidavit signed June 5, United States Secret Service special agent Eric Fehlman alleged Stopkotte stole nearly $100,000 in checks from more than a dozen churches in Tennessee and deposited them into his own account for personal gain.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has not yet filed criminal charges against Stopkotte.

Investigators said bank records show between Aug. 20, 2012 and Nov. 6, 2012, Stopkotte was going through church mailboxes, taking checks and depositing them into his own account through ATMs.

In a police report from Franklin, Tenn., police indicated that the domestic violence charge came from an October 2011 incident involving his now estranged wife, Rebecca Stopkotte, who reported that Ken Stopkotte punched her in the back and squeezed her neck area.

In 2010, Stopkotte was charged with stealing $17,000 in Fishers pool rental money, but the Hamilton County prosecutor dismissed the charges in March 2012.

Stopkotte, who served as the Fishers High School swim coach from 2006 to 2010, filed a defamation lawsuit Jan. 28, 2013, against Hamilton Southeastern Schools and Mel Goldstein, of the YMCA.

Court records show the lawsuit against Hamilton Southeastern Schools was dismissed in May 2013, but Stopkotte’s lawsuit against Goldstein is still pending.

Jonathan Little, Stopkotte’s attorney in the defamation suit, did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

In February, Stopkotte told Call 6 Investigator Kenney via Skype that the school district and Goldstein falsely accused him of theft, which negatively impacted his life.

"It's been a devastating experience," Stopkotte said, adding that it's difficult to find work. "I've had to undergo thousands of dollars of counseling. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about what happened."

In addition to serving at Fishers High School, Stopkotte also worked as the coach of USA Swimming-sanctioned swim club Fishers Area Swim Tigers (FAST).

Stopkotte was in charge of renting the Fishers High School pool to community groups, including YMCA's Indy Swim Fit, a program run by Goldstein.

Stopkotte spoke to RTV6 in 2009 and ABC’s 20/20 in 2010, blowing the whistle about sexual abuse within the sport of swimming.

He resigned in August 2010 from FAST and Fishers High School amid allegations he altered times for swim meets. USA Swimming banned him for two years and Indiana swimming banned him for five years.

Stopkotte told RTV6 in February the Hamilton Southeastern school district should pay and apologize for falsely accusing him.

"I think people need to be accountable for telling the truth," said Stopkotte in an interview with Kenney in February.

Follow Kara Kenney on Twitter: @karakenney6 | Facebook: KaraKenneyNews

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