Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

USA Gymnastics Bans Coach Charged with Sexual Assault

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

USA Gymnastics Bans Coach Charged with Sexual Assault

Article excerpt

USA Gymnastics, the sport's national governing body, confirmed Wednesday that it has suspended the membership of a local coach after learning from media reports that he was charged with sexually assaulting a teenage athlete over a two-year period in Allegheny and Butler counties.

Meanwhile, Trinity Gymnastics, a West Deer gym that employed the coach, Keith R. Callen, 45, of Sarver in 2012-13, issued a statement Wednesday saying that it had run the defendant through standard background checks before hiring him and found nothing of concern.

"If there were any issues or complaints filed with the appropriate government authorities and USGA did not give their approval, Trinity Gymnastics would have never hired Keith Callen," according to the statement by gym owner Brian McGrath.

Pennsylvania State Police said an investigation determined that Mr. Callen had inappropriate interactions and sexual contact with one of his athletes from February 2012 through May 2015, starting when the girl was 12 years old.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette does not identify alleged sexual assault victims.

Although the alleged crimes occurred in both Allegheny and Butler counties, the district attorneys of both counties agreed that the prosecution should take place in Pittsburgh, authorities said. Although there are no other alleged victims, Mike Manko, spokesman for Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., said, "Any time you have a case like this you're always concerned there might be other victims because this type of behavior usually doesn't happen in a vacuum."

Trooper Josh Black said state police were made aware of the allegations through a report made to ChildLine, the state child abuse hotline, by a mandated reporter. In December and February, police said the alleged victim spoke with a forensic interviewer with the Butler County Alliance for Children.

In an affidavit, investigators described a period of apparent grooming during which the girl began private lessons at Jewart's Gymnastics in Hampton in 2010. …

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