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Child Exploitation


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Indianapolis-area high school swim coach faces federal child exploitation charges

INDIANAPOLIS — Federal charges were announced Thursday against an Indianapolis-area high school swim coach for allegedly having sex with one of his athletes, and recording child pornography on his cellphone.

These charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, Southern District of Indiana. This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Hamilton County (Indiana) Metro Child Exploitation Task Force.

John C. Goelz, 29, of Carmel, Indiana, and a swim coach with Carmel High School, faces charges of sexually exploiting a minor who was one of his athletes, and possessing child pornography.

Goelz was arrested July 3, 2018, and remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Goelz has a detention hearing July 10, 2018, in federal court in Indianapolis.

“These charges are especially disturbing given the defendant’s position of trust,” said Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons, HSI Chicago. “These allegations send a strong message to child predators that HSI is committed to bringing to justice those who exploit children.”

On June 29, 2018, law enforcement officials learned that Goelz may be involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female athlete that he coached at the Carmel Swim Club and the Carmel High School Swim Team.

Agents and officers captured screen shots of text messages exchanged between Goelz and the minor victim.

The messages indicated there was a sexual relationship between the two dating back to February 2018.

A search warrant was secured for Goelz’s residence and his personal cellphone.

Further investigation revealed that Goelz and the minor victim were involved in a sexual relationship, which included having sex at public parks in Hamilton County, Goelz’s residence, and a hotel in Anderson, Indiana.

This investigation further revealed that Goelz filmed the sexual activity with the minor victim at the hotel in Anderson, Indiana, using his cellphone; a video file depicting the sexual activity was found on his cellphone.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryAnn T. Mindrum who is prosecuting this case for the government, Goelz could face a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted.

Members of the public who have further information regarding this case are encouraged to contact the Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force at (317) 595-3361.

A criminal complaint is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proved otherwise in federal court. 

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.

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.


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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/16/2018