John Goelz, 30, a swim coach with Carmel High School and Carmel Swim Club in Indiana, was sentenced Wednesday to 200 months, (almost 17 years), in federal prison after admitting to sexually exploiting one of his student athletes, according to U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, Southern District of Indiana.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Hamilton County Indiana Metro Child Exploitation Task Force.
Goelz exploited his position of trust and authority with one of his student athletes, a minor, for his own sexual gratification.
(Learn More. Courtesy of WTHR and YouTube. Posted on Jul 5, 2018.)
“Sexual exploitation is one of the most depraved crimes committed against humanity, and this case is especially disturbing given Goelz’s position of trust,” said Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons, HSI Chicago.
“This sentence serves as a reminder that HSI is committed to collaborating with its community partners to bring to justice those who exploit children.”
Starting in at least September 2017 through June 30, 2018, Goelz first built the victim’s trust as her coach and confidant, and then began enticing the victim to engage in sexual acts with him.
(Learn More. Are you sure your kids know who they’re talking to online? If someone demands sexual images from you, stop immediately and report it. In this PSA, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) explore the dangers of sharing images online. Courtesy of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and YouTube.)
During that time, Goelz contacted the victim via text messages and other messaging applications that concealed the conversations to arrange sexual encounters at locations, such as Goelz’s residence, community parks and motels.
On June 30, 2018, Goelz used his cellphone to take videos of the victim engaging in sexual activity with him at a motel room in Anderson, Indiana.
Two video files, along with multiple images, were recovered by federal investigators on Goelz’s cellphone after the execution of a search warrant, depicting the victim engaging in oral sex with Goelz.
Computer evidence showed that the video files were filmed with Goelz’s phone.
“Today’s sentence sends a strong message to those whom we put trust in to supervise and coach our children, that this behavior is illegal and those who take advantage of our children will face real consequences,” said U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, Southern District of Indiana.
“Protecting our youth from sexual predators will always remain a top priority of this office.”
“This is yet another example of a selfish and criminal act on the part of an individual who took advantage of a position of authority over a child,” said Lt. Cameron Ellison, Hamilton County Indiana Metro Child Exploitation Task Force.
“Cases involving adults in such positions have become far too common in our society. Each member of our community should take note of these cases, commit to remaining off the sidelines, and communicate with law enforcement when these types of abuses are suspected.”
“It was a community tip that led to the investigation, arrest and prosecution in this case. Law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities, at all levels, will continue to work together when such allegations are made.”
“We will work together, with laser focus, to first protect our children, then to investigate these crimes and separate the individuals responsible from our children and society.”
Goelz must also serve 10 years of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryAnn T. Mindrum, Southern District of Indiana, who prosecuted this case.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators.
Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children.
In fiscal year 2017, more than 2,700 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 900 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form.
Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
(Make it hard for predators to hide; download the Operation Predator app today from iTunes or Google Play. Courtesy of ICE .gov)
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.
HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.
Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit (HRVWCU)
‘Excellence in Homeland Security’
The HRVWCC is comprised of ICE HSI’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit, ICE’s Human Rights Law Section, FBI’s International Human Rights Unit and HRSP.
Established in 2009, the HRVWCC furthers the government’s efforts to identify, locate and prosecute human rights abusers in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, female genital mutilation and the use or recruitment of child soldiers.
(Learn About ICE HSI Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit (HRVWCU) which conducts investigations focused on human rights violations in an effort to prevent the United States from becoming a safe haven to those individuals who engage in the commission of war crimes, genocide, torture and other forms of serious human rights abuses from conflicts around the globe. Courtesy of ICE .gov and YouTube.)
The unit has four important missions:
- To prevent the admission of foreign war crimes suspects, persecutors and human rights abusers into the United States.
- To identify and prosecute individuals who have been involved and/or responsible for the commission of human rights abuses across the globe.
- To remove, whenever possible, those offenders who are located in the United States.
- To oversee the development of programs in response to the former President’s Presidential Study Directive-10, the prevention of mass atrocities.
The HRVWCC leverages the expertise of a select group of agents, lawyers, intelligence and research specialists, historians and analysts who direct the agency’s broader enforcement efforts against these offenders.
Since fiscal year 2004, ICE has arrested more than 275 individuals for human rights-related violations under various criminal and/or immigration statutes.
During that same period, ICE has denied more than 139 individuals from obtaining entry visas to the United States and created more than 66,000 subject records, which prevented identified human-rights violators from attempting to enter the United States.
Additionally, ICE successfully obtained deportation orders to physically remove more than 590 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States.
Currently, ICE is pursuing more than 1,900 leads and removal cases that involve suspected human rights violators from nearly 96 different countries.
Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals or naturalized U.S. citizens suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are encouraged to call the ICE tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or to complete its online tip form; or the Justice Department’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section at 1-202-616-2492. Callers may remain anonymous.
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