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Crime News Breaking News

Gymnastics Coach Allegedly Sexually Abused Teen Student In Front Of His Own Child

The abuse allegedly began after the gymnastics and cheerleading coach took the 16-year-old to a hotel room and plied her with alcohol, according to authorities.

By Jill Sederstrom

A San Antonio gymnastics and cheerleading coach has been accused of sexually abusing his teen student — once while his own child was playing in the same room where the alleged assault took place.

Robert Thomas Kotara, 33, is facing a charge of sexual assault of a child after one of his longtime students, now 18, reported the coach had been regularly having sex with her since she was 16 years old, police said, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

The sexual abuse allegedly began when Kotara asked the 16-year-old to help supervise a sleepover at the cheer gym for other students, according to court documents obtained by KENS. But after the teen arrived at the gym, she told authorities Kotara asked her to accompany him on an errand and drove her to a hotel instead, where he allegedly plied her with alcohol and sexually assaulted her.

She told investigators she remembered Kotara climbing on top of her and having sex with her in the hotel room, the court documents stated.

After their initial encounter, the teen—who had been coached by Kotara since she was 10 years old—told police the sexual assaults became a “regular occurrence.”

Robert Kotara Pd

In another disturbing incident, Kotara allegedly asked the teen to babysit for his child while he went to work. But, according to the affidavit, Kotara never went to work and had sex with the teen instead while the child was playing in the same room.

Another coach who worked at the same gym allegedly confronted Kotara about his behavior after he walked in on the teen sitting naked or minimally clothed on Kotara’s lap in his office, the local paper reports.

He and Kotara allegedly exchanged text messages about the incident—which the witness later shared with police, the affidavit said.

Authorities said Kotara told the witness that the teen had not been wearing any shorts at the time because it was hot, local station WOAI-TV reports.

At one point, the teen attempted to cut off contact with Kotara, even changing her phone number to try to distance herself from the coach, but he continued to email her daily, according to the affidavit.

Kotara is also facing theft and burglary charges in connection with a separate incident. According to an affidavit connected to those charges and obtained by KENS, witnesses told police they thought Kotara had broken into a gym and stolen two swamp cooler fans. He is accused of later trying to sell the stolen goods to another business.