Local and federal authorities have outlined formal charges against gymnastics coach Marvin L. Sharp, who is accused of having sexual contact with one of his students and for possessing child pornography.
Court documents filed in Marion County Superior Court say Sharp took inappropriate photographs and inappropriately touched a girl on many occasions while he was her gymnastics coach. The girl, who is now 14, told police that Sharp has been touching her inappropriately since she was 12 years old.
The girl told investigators that Sharp frequently told her not to tell her parents about the photo and physical therapy sessions where the inappropriate touching took place, officials said.
The incidents took place at the Sharp’s business, Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy as well as during an out-of-state trip that the girl and Sharp took together as competitor and coach.
Child pornography files, including thousands of photos, were discovered on computer drives belonging to Sharp during the execution of search warrants on Sharp’s home and Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy, court documents said. Thousands of sexually explicit images of minors were found in a safe in his home and in a file cabinet at his gymnasium. The images showed young boys and girls in sexually explicit poses.
“It is a parent’s worst nightmare that someone whom we entrust with care and guidance of our children — whether a coach, teacher, or otherwise — would abuse that trust and harm our children,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said in a statement. “Anyone who would harm our children in those circumstances, as we have alleged here, will be held fully accountable for their crimes.”
Sharp has been charged with four felony counts of child molesting and three felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor by the Marion County prosecutor’s office and with knowing receipt of child pornography and knowing possession of child pornography by the United States attorney’s office.
10:49 A.M. TUESDAY UPDATE: Gymnastics coach Marvin L. Sharp is now facing additional criminal charges in connection to his early Monday arrest.
Online court records indicate that Sharp, 48, is now facing three counts of child molesting and four counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. All of the charges are felonies.
He was originally booked on one count of child molesting.
Court documents related to the case have not been released. It is unclear if the charges pertain to one or more children.
The Star has contacted officials from the Marion County prosecutor’s office for more information.
Sharp is scheduled to attend an initial hearing Wednesday afternoon. He remains in custody at the Marion County Jail.