Coach accused of molesting female gymnasts in Missouri


A volunteer gymnastics coach in Missouri is accused of inappropriately touching three young female gymnasts, and police are concerned there are more victims.

David Schneider, 41, of Washington, Missouri, was charged Tuesday with three counts of child molestation. The children alleged that Schneider touched their genitals while working with them as they practiced doing splits at the Kids in Motion gym in Washington, 50 miles west of St. Louis. Authorities said the crimes occurred between 2011 and 2014, when the victims were 7 or 8 years old.

Schneider, a married father, is jailed on $100,000 bond and does not have a listed attorney.

Parents of three additional girls have already contacted police alleging similar crimes, and it's possible the number of victims could grow, police Sgt. Steve Sitzes said Wednesday.

"At this point we haven't even begun returning phone calls from concerned parents," Sitzes said.

Franklin County prosecutor Robert Parks said it wasn't clear if the victims' decision to come forward was spurred by publicity surrounding Larry Nassar. The disgraced USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician will spend the rest of his life behind bars for sexually abusing more than 250 women and girls.

In a probable cause statement, police said Schneider admitted to inappropriate touching but claimed his hands slipped because the girls were sweaty. He also said he didn't change his technique despite the repeated slipping of his hands.

One of the girls said she thought the touching was "weird" at the time, but didn't realize it was wrong until recently. That girl, now in middle school, told an adult at the school on Jan. 9, leading to the investigation.

Kids in Motion owner Piper Hoemann posted on the gym's website that she feels "deep sorrow" for the victims. She cited a long list of precautions at the gym aimed at keeping children safe, including prohibiting coaches and volunteers from hugging them. She said no coach is ever allowed to be alone with a gymnast.

Schneider also volunteered as a swim coach at the YMCA in Washington. The YMCA said no allegations were ever made against him.

The Washington Missourian reported that Schneider was honored in 2015 by the Optimist Club with its Friend of Youth Award for his work as a volunteer swimming and gymnastics coach.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Twin babies found dead in suitcase on side of a ditch
Twin babies found dead in suitcase on side of a ditch

Arkansas authorities are investigating the discovery of the bodies of twin babies found in a suitcase in Cross County in the eastern part of the state. >> Read more trending news  The infants were found Friday afternoon around 1:45 p.m. on Crossroad 602. The unidentified bodies were inside a purple suitcase on the side of a ditch. ...
Chemicals in nonstick pans could be causing weight gain, study says
Chemicals in nonstick pans could be causing weight gain, study says

Nonstick pans were created to make cooking a little easier. However, they may be causing more harm than good, because they have been linked to weight gain, according to a new report.  >> Read more trending news  Researchers from Harvard University recently conducted a study, published in the scientific journal PLOS Medicine, to...
FBI didn't investigate tip about Nikolas Cruz before deadly school shooting
FBI didn't investigate tip about Nikolas Cruz before deadly school shooting

At least 17 people were killed in a high school shooting Wednesday afternoon in Parkland, Florida and more than a dozen others were injured, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. The lone gunman, identified as Nikolas Cruz, 19, was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and was taken into custody without incident after...
Melania Trump breaks with tradition again after new affair allegations
Melania Trump breaks with tradition again after new affair allegations

Once again, first lady Melania Trump gave off the impression that all is not well in her marriage to President Donald Trump when she broke presidential protocol on Friday following a report alleging the president had an affair with former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. As the Trumps headed to Florida to meet with the victims of this week&rsquo...
Suspect knocks out partner in crime during attempted break-in
Suspect knocks out partner in crime during attempted break-in

This probably wasn’t quite how these attempted burglars saw their night going. Surveillance video released by police in Shanghai, China, captured a break-in attempt gone horribly wrong. In the video, the men approach a business with what appears to be bricks in their hands. One person throws the brick and hits the door, but the second one&rsquo...
More Stories