FORT WORTH, Texas — A gymnastics coach well-known throughout North Texas has been arrested after police say he sexually assaulted three different girls.
Skipper Crawley, 51, was arrested late Wednesday in Indianapolis, Ind. The allegations stem from his tenure as a coach at Sokol Gymnastics in Fort Worth earlier this year, which ended when he was suspended this spring.
According to arrest warrants, the alleged victims all came forward in late April. The affidavits allege all three girls later told a child forensic interviewer that they were inappropriately touched by Crawley on multiple occasions at the gymnastics athletic center. Crawley was accused of touching gymnasts in his office, while helping the young girls stretch and during their practices.
One young gymnast also accused the coach of making inappropriate remarks, such as calling her his girlfriend and telling her he wanted to get married and snuggle.
The mother of one of Crawley’s 8-year-old accusers told WFAA this week she was “disgusted” by what has unfolded.
“The thing was, he was a great coach," she said. "And he used that. He’s a very sick man.”
WFAA is not naming the woman to protect the identity of her young daughter. The three girls that have come forward are between the ages of 8 to 13, she said.
The mother provided documentation, including photos of Crawley and the competitive gymnastics team at Sokol. He coached there for roughly a year, she said.
"I can see it in her face, her eyes. I can see it in her face," said the woman while talking about her daughter. "She is mad now, she's mad at the world. She has now trust left."
An attorney for the gymnastics center, Russell Prince, told WFAA that the gym immediately acted when the allegations first surfaced a few months ago.
“We want a full accounting," he said. "We believe the facts will show there is more to the story."
The coach faces one count of continuous sex abuse of young children, and two aggravated charges of sexual assault of a child in Fort Worth.
The affidavits state that all three girls underwent forensics interview, and that investigators think their credibility is "unwavering."
Crawley is a former assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma, and well-known in gymnastics circles in North Texas. In 2016, he was inducted into the Birdville Independent School District Hall of Fame. According to a post shared on the district's Facebook page, he was the "most decorated male gymnast that Richland High or BISD produced."
USA Gymnastics, the body that oversees gymnastics nationally, said in a statement that Crawley has been suspended since May:
“The U.S. Center for SafeSport has the exclusive authority to handle sexual misconduct matters for the entire U.S. Olympic movement (including gymnastics). The membership of Skip "Skipper" Crawley was suspended at the direction of the U.S. Center for SafeSport.”
Fort Worth police say Officers of the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force developed information that Crawley was at a residence in Indianapolis. They apprehended him without incident and he's awaiting extradition back to North Texas.