A former gymnastics studio owner accused of failing to report an alleged molestation at her business was given probation Thursday.
Piper J. Hoemann, 47, pleaded guilty to failure to report child abuse. As owner of the now-closed Kids in Motion, Hoemann was considered a mandated reporter by the state.
Hoemann, Washington, was charged May 22, 2018, in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with the misdemeanor.
Authorities allege that Hoemann knew of the accusation against a former trainer who allegedly touched three juveniles under their shorts while helping them with gymnastic techniques, yet she failed to contact police.
Hoemann was given two years unsupervised bench probation as part of the suspended imposition sentence (S.I.S.) on the charge. She appeared in front of Associate Circuit Judge Stanley Williams.
Under a S.I.S., a sentence is not imposed and Hoemann can have the charge taken off her record after two years, as long as she completes terms of her probation.
Under the agreement, Hoemann is required to write letters of apology to the victims, and give the letters to the prosecuting attorney victim’s advocate by Jan. 29, 2020, according to court records. She also was ordered to complete 20 hours of community service.
According to the probable cause statement filed in 2018 by Washington police in the Franklin County Prosecutors Office, the parents of two juveniles reported inappropriate touching by volunteer trainer David F. Schneider, 42, to Hoemann.
Schneider, Washington, was charged Feb. 6, 2018, in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with three felony counts of child molestation. The charges stem from incidents at Kids in Motion located at 2226 Highway A, Suite 200, Washington.
In March 2018, the case was bound over to Franklin County Circuit Court.
According to the probable cause statement, Schneider admitted to placing his hands on numerous girls during stretches in an inappropriate place.
One victim said the touching was awkward and told her mother. The mother reported the touching to Hoemann, according to police.
Schneider volunteered at Kids in Motion from the fall of 2011 until the fall of 2014.
Although Schneider is accused of molesting three girls, Hoemann only was charged with one misdemeanor count of failing to report. The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor in Missouri is one year.
In the summer of 2014, the mother of one child reported that Schneider allegedly inappropriately touched the child three different times while doing oversplits, police said.
Then in December 2017, the father of a child attending Kids in Motion reported that Schneider touched his child once while doing oversplits at the gym, police allege.
Last year, Washington Police Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes said if Hoemann would have reported the parents’ complaints to the authorities more incidents might have been prevented and the investigation could have been more “timely.”
A jury trial for Hoemann had been scheduled for Oct. 28. On Oct. 4, the trial was canceled when terms of the plea agreement were reached.
A four-day jury trial is scheduled for Schneider from Feb. 18-21, 2020, in front of Circuit Judge Craig Hellmann. Schneider waived his rights to a formal arraignment and entered a not guilty plea Oct. 30, 2018.
Washington police began an investigation into allegations of inappropriate touching after officers were contacted by a juvenile Jan. 9, 2018. The girl told police her gymnastics coach, Schneider, had touched her inappropriately five years prior.
According to the probable cause statement filed in the prosecutor’s office, the first victim told police Schneider “used his hand to go under her shorts” touching her inappropriately 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 then.
A second victim told police that 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.
During an interview with Washington police, Schneider allegedly admitted to placing his hands on numerous girls in an inappropriate place during stretches.
He said the “inappropriate place” would be the area around the genitals and he never tried to “hide” that, authorities allege.
Schneider also allegedly 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 did not change his spotting technique after slipping several times and touching girls, according to the probable cause statement.