A parent volunteer from a gymnastics center in Washington, Missouri, is accused of molesting multiple gymnasts.
David Schneider is accused of molesting three girls when they were 7 or 8 years old from 2011 to 2014, according to The Washington Post. He was charged on Tuesday with three counts of child molestation and is currently jailed on a $100,000 cash-only bond. It is unclear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.
Schneider, 41, allegedly told police that it was a misunderstanding. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, he admitted to the inappropriate touching, but claimed his hands slipped because the children were sweaty. However, according to the court documents, "after slipping several times” due to “perspiration,” he didn’t change his technique with the girls.
One victim said he abused her while practicing splits, a form of splits Schneider called “oversplits.” That victim told police Schneider “used his hand to go under her shorts and grab the area of her vagina over her leotard,” according to the Missourian.
The second and third alleged victims told police Schneider had put his hands under their clothing while doing the splits. The second victim allegedly witnessed Schneider abuse the first victim.
Schneider also worked as a swim coach at another center and at the Washington YMCA. In 2015, Schneider was given the Friend of the Youth Award by the Washington Optimist Club, according to the Missourian. Police believe there could be additional victims.
Sgt. Steve Sitzes told the New York Post, “Given the amount of children that he’s been around, I wouldn’t be surprised. It wouldn’t shock me, no. [...] Our next step is to investigate anything that comes in and try to get these interviews lined up. Then we’ll present those reports to a prosecutor. But we had to act on the three victims that we had.”
Anyone with information should call 636-390-1050.
[Photo: Franklin County Sheriff’s Office]