Former Fishers swim coach faces new theft charges in Tennessee

Ken Stopkotte charges with 2 felony theft counts

INDIANAPOLIS - A former Fishers swim coach once accused of stealing $17,000 in pool rental money is facing new criminal charges in Tennessee.

The Call 6 Investigators have learned Ken Stopkotte was arrested Feb. 20 by Franklin, Tenn., police on suspicion of stealing checks from the First Presbyterian Church.

He was charged with two counts of felony theft over $500 and is expected in Williamson County court on Feb. 28.

Stopkotte, who served as the Fishers High School swim coach from 2006 to 2012, filed a defamation lawsuit Jan. 28 against Hamilton Southeastern Schools and Mel Goldstein of the YMCA.

Stopkotte was arrested in Indiana on eight charges of theft in November 2010, and Hamilton County prosecutors dismissed the charges in March 2012, according to the lawsuit.

Stopkotte’s Indianapolis attorney Jonathan Little told Call 6 Investigators the new charges will have little impact on the defamation suit.

“I think it helps his case,” said Little. “For the first 45-plus years of Ken Stopkotte’s life, he was a totally law abiding citizen, but the Hamilton Southeastern school corporation decided to malign him and maliciously prosecute him for a crime which never occurred, and Mr. Stopkotte had to endure great personal expense.”

Earlier this month, Stopkotte told Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney the school district and Mel Goldstein of the YMCA falsely accused him of theft, which negatively impacted his life.

“It’s been a devastating experience,” said Stopkotte, who added 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."

The Call 6 Investigators have since learned Stopkotte will be sentenced April 12 in Williamson County Tennessee on charges stemming from three additional cases including domestic assault, theft of over $1,000 and false reports to police.

A police report from Franklin, Tenn., police shows  the domestic violence charge comes from an October 2011 incident involving his now estranged wife, Rebecca Stopkotte, who reported Kenneth Stopkotte punched her in the back and squeezed her neck area.

The theft over $1,000 charge comes from a November 2011 Franklin, Tenn., police report showing Stopkotte stole a check from a neighbor.

Police said they identified Stopkotte from a bank photo of Stopkotte depositing the check.

A police report was unavailable detailing Stopkotte’s false reports to police, but sources close to the case say investigators determined Stopkotte made false allegations he was receiving harassing texts, when Stopkotte was found to be the one sending the texts.

On Dec. 3, Stopkotte pleaded guilty to the domestic assault, theft of over $1,000 and false reports to police charges, according to Williamson County court employees who checked court records for the Call 6 team.

Little said it’s unlikely the Tennessee charges would come up at the defamation trial in Indiana.

“He’s innocent until proven guilty,” said Little.

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 Fisher’s 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.

Stopkotte 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 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 earlier this month.


Follow Kara Kenney on Twitter: @karakenney6 | Facebook: Kara-Kenney-WRTV

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