Police: Swim Coach Fondled 14-Year-Old Girl
Lawrence Swim Team Coach Arrested In Sexual Misconduct Case
Last Updated: 1323 days ago
Lawrence Swim Team coach Christopher Wheat was arrested Monday on a felony charge of sexual misconduct with a minor, stemming from an alleged relationship with a 14-year-old swimmer.Indianapolis police Sgt. Matt Mount said Wheat, 36, fondled and touched the girl inappropriately. Video: Wheat, a 1991 Lawrence North High School graduate, is also an assistant swimming coach at the school, where the girl is a student.Wheat has coached the girl at the club since she was 11, Mount said.Investigators said the inappropriate touching began about five weeks ago, and that the girl's parents noticed a change in their daughter's behavior before she told them what had happened."From what I understand from the detective, comments were made by (the girl) that this was not right," Mount said.According to its Web site, the swim club has about 180 members.Wheat's bio on that Web site said that he is on the board of directors for the Lawrence Township School Foundation and is chairman of the Lawrence Township Alumni Association.Lawrence Township Schools suspended Wheat Tuesday morning. Officials said he had no previous history of misconduct."We certainly do hope we are able to allay parents concerns," said district director of communications Sharon Smith. "The swim club has been in existence for 33 years. To my knowledge, this is the first time we've ever had something of this magnitude."Wheat posted bond Tuesday. Parents, Students React Swim team parents and coaches met in a closed-door meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the allegations against Wheat."I don't even know if I have anything to say yet," said Audra Sweeney, who has a child on the team. "I am just trying to find out what's going on."Mike Penrose, also a swim team coach, said the meeting was called to communicate with parents as quickly as possible."We take any accusation of misconduct involving a minor very seriously," Penrose said in a statement. "Our top priority is to take care of our kids and their families."Lawrence North student Kimmie Gowen said students are aware of the allegations and are concerned about the well-being of the girl involved."It's embarrassing, and we don't want to hurt her and make her uncomfortable," Gowen said.