The man accused in the molestation of three girls he coached at a former gym waived his rights to a formal arraignment and entered a not guilty plea Tuesday.
David F. Schneider, 41, Washington, appeared in front of Judge Craig Hellmann where he waived the reading of the charges. His next court appearance is slated for Jan. 8, 2019.
Schneider was charged Feb. 6 with three counts of first-degree child molestation stemming from incidents police say occurred in 2013 and 2014 at Kids in Motion, a former gymnastics facility in Washington.
Judge Hellmann was assigned the case in June after Presiding Judge Ike Lamke recused himself. Schneider is being represented by Daniel Briegel, with Purschke White & Briegel, LLC, Union.
Schneider was a volunteer gymnastics coach at Kids in Motion at the time of the allegations. The gym has since closed. The owner, Piper J. Hoemann, 46, Washington, was charged with a misdemeanor in May for failure to report child abuse or neglect as mandated by the state. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 5 in front of Judge Stanley Williams.
Washington police began an investigation into allegations of inappropriate touching after officers were contacted by a juvenile Jan. 9. The girl told police her gymnastics coach had touched her inappropriately five years ago.
According to the probable cause statement filed in the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office, the first victim told police Schneider “used his hand to go under her shorts and grab the area of her vagina over her leotard” on multiple occasions while he was spotting her while doing the oversplits.
The victim told police she thought it was strange at the time the incident occurred, but didn’t realize it was wrong until recently.
A second victim told police Schneider had also placed his hands under her shorts but also placed them under her leotard and touched her genitals multiple times. The juvenile told police the touching occurred multiple times while doing the oversplits, according to the probable cause statement.
A third victim told police Schneider had touched her genitals with his fingers while she was doing the oversplits. The juvenile said the incidents occurred between spring 2014 and October 2014.
The third victim said the touching was awkward and told her mother. The mother reported the touching to the owner of Kids in Motion, according to police.
Schneider volunteered at Kids in Motion from the fall of 2011 until the fall of 2014.
According to the probable cause statement, during an interview with Washington police Schneider admitted to placing his hands on numerous girls in an inappropriate place during stretches.
Schneider told police the “inappropriate place” would be the area around the vagina and he never tried to “hide” that, authorities said.
He told police his hands slipped and he touched the girls inappropriately because it was a “wet environment” and the girls would be sweaty, according to the probable cause statement.
Schneider told police he did not change his stretching technique after slipping several times and touching girls, according to the probable cause statement.