Marvin Sharp, Gymnastics Coach Accused of Child Molestation, Found Dead in Jail Cell: Reports
Marvin Sharp was being held in an Indiana jail on four counts of child molestation and three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor
Marvin Sharp, the head of an Indianapolis, Indiana, gymnastics academy who was arrested on charges of child pornography and molestation, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his jail cell, authorities told CBS.
Katie Carlson, a spokeswoman from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, said Sharp died on Saturday night and that no foul play was suspected.
Sharp was being held on four counts of child molestation and three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, according to the Indianapolis Star.
“A follow up investigation is being conducted by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Marion County coroner’s office,” Carlson said in a statement, the Star reported.
PEOPLE was unable to reach the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Marion County Coroner’s Office for comment.
The 49-year-old coached Bridget Sloan and Samantha Peszek, both members of the 2008 silver medal-winning U.S. women’s gymnastics Olympic team, and was once named USA Gymnastics 2010 Coach of the Year.
The investigation began after a female gymnast allegedly complained at Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy, and he was later arrested after police searching for child pornography removed computers and other electronics from his home.
At least one coach and gymnast were defending Sharp before his death, local news station WTTV reported after his August arrest.
“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,” Michele Callahan, a current coach at Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy, wrote in a statement to the news station.
Sharp’s death came on the annual National Gymnastics Day. The event, which is sponsored by USA Gymnastics, was in its 17th year.
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