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Former Texas gymnastics coach sentenced to 50 years for sexual abuse of girls

Domingo Ramirez Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in News & Features

FORT WORTH, Texas -- A former gymnastics coach was sentenced on Friday to 50 years in prison for sexually assaulting young gymnasts.

Skipper Crawley, 53, of Kemp, pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated assault of a child.

Once charges were filed in August 2018, Crawley fled Texas and was arrested in Indiana.

On Friday, many of Crawley's past victims shared emotional statements of what the coach put them through.

"They were all children who dreamed of being Olympians, and believed the defendant would help them get there," said Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Darren DeLaCruz in a news release. "He used his position of authority to isolate them, and used their dreams against them."

Crawley was an instructor at Sokol Gymnastics in Fort Worth when reports surfaced he had sexually assaulted three young girls during practices.

 

After his arrest, several adult victims also came forward and reported being sexually abused by Crawley when they were young gymnasts when he was a coach in Norman and Tulsa, Okla., in the 1990s, prosecutors said.

He still faces charges in Oklahoma, said Sam Jordan, a spokeswoman with the Tarrant County criminal district attorney's office, in a Friday email.

"The defendant preyed on his victims from the start," DeLaCruz said. "Instead of being a trusted coach and mentor, he sexually abused them."

In all, Crawley was accused of abusing 11 girls in Texas and Oklahoma, prosecutors said Friday.

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