Beware of Athletic Performance Programs

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.


Robin Lyons, author websiteSocial distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19 will be one for the history books. The staggering number of deaths to school closures to the postponement of the Summer Olympics—it’s a crazy time.

When school resumes, parents, students, and staff will need to also resume their vigilance in identifying behavior that is illegal, inappropriate, or potentially dangerous.

BLOG POST #226: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a high school athletic trainer.

Twenty plus years after he’d left the school district, a housekeeper in the care home where he lived found pornographic images on his computer. The housekeeper reported the content which resulted in an investigation.

He’d worked for the school district for 18 years. At some point during his employment, he created a side-hustle business named, ‘The Program.’ The Program offered medicinal-based massage to improve athletic performance. Even after he left the school district, he continued to provide his treatment program.

If this crime sounds similar to the USA Gymnastic doctor found guilty of multiple cases of sexual child abuse—you’re right.

This man took advantage of children who dreamed of improving their athletic performance. He created a front for his program from bits and pieces of information he’d found on the internet—complete with flyers.

After he recruited young boys into his program, he coerced them into sexual activity, claiming it would increase their physical performance. In addition to soliciting boys from his area, he also trolled online using a false identity.

A U.S. Attorney on the case said, “For years, [he] manipulated and committed horrible abuse against many boys, causing emotional and physical harm that his victims still suffer today.”

He pleaded guilty to coercion and enticement. The judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He’ll also be required to register as a level-three violent sexual predator for the rest of his life. Should he live long enough to be released from prison, he’d be ninety-one years old.

Worth mentioning: Thirty-two men who years ago were sexually abused by the former athletic trainer initiated a lawsuit against the imprisoned sexual predator and the school district. The school district settled the case at $9 million.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Stay safe and thank you for reading!


Source: U.S. District Court, USA Department of Justice, Billings Gazette, KULR 8 – NBC

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