INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 24, 2015) – Police raided the northwest side home of gymnastics coach Marvin Sharp Sunday in connection with a child molestation investigation.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said officers took Sharp into custody after the raid in the 5000 block of Deer Creek Avenue. Officers served a search warrant at the location. IMPD said Sharp’s arrest was in conjunction with an Indiana State Police investigation.
The Marion County Prosecutors Office said charging information wasn't immediately available. Saying, "the matter is under investigation by our office for potential criminal charges." They said the files have also been shared with with the U.S. Attorney General's Office.
Sharp is an accomplished gymnastics coach and owner of Sharp's Gymnastics Academy in the 8000 block of Georgetown Road. He coached Olympians Samantha Peszek and Bridget Sloan as well as several national and international teams. Former coaches and gymnasts are defending Sharp.
One woman who asked not to be identified, told CBS4, she has known Sharp for over 15 years and don't believe the allegations are true.
“He’s probably, of all the coaches I have ever come across, the least likely I would ever think to do something like he’s being accused of," she said.
It's not clear if the allegations stem from any incident inside the gym. The woman said gymnastics is a very hands on sport and Sharp, as well as other coaches at the gym, were trained on proper spotting techniques.
“Everything is done at the knees, at the hips on the hipbone, on the shoulders, elbows, abdomen area.” She added, “sometimes to save a kid, you’re going to have to grab them wherever you can grab them, but it was only for those very, very rare instances where something went extremely wrong.”
A current coach at Sharps Gymnastics Academy, Michele Callahan, released a statement to CBS4 saying:
"I heard the news. I stand by Marvin. I have never seen him behave in any way whatsoever other than respectfully toward any gymnast. Gymnastics is a sport where its very nature puts male coaches at risk of false accusations. I have seen such a thing happen to another coach. I certainly hope this can be cleared up quickly before it affects his very positive and respectable career."
Jail records show Sharp was booked on a charge of child molesting.