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Carmel Swim Coach Sentenced For Sexual Exploitation

Joel Goelz, 30, receives 200 months in federal prison after pleading guilty

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Swimming pool

John Goelz, 30, a former swim coach at Carmel High School and the Carmel Swim Club, was sentenced Wednesday to 200 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges of sexual exploitation of one of his student-athletes, according to United States Attorney Josh Minkler.

Goelz exploited his position of trust and authority with one of his student-athletes, a minor, for his own sexual gratification, stated Minkler.

From at least September 2017 through June 30, 2018, Goelz “first built the victim’s trust as her coach and confidant, and then began enticing the victim to engage in sexual acts with him,” stated Minkler.

During that period, Goelz contacted the victim via text messages and other messaging applications that concealed the conversations to arrange sexual encounters at locations such as Goelz’s residence, community parks, and motels.

On June 30, 2018, Goelz used his cellphone to take videos of the victim engaging in sexual activity with him at a motel room in Anderson.

Two video files, along with multiple images, were recovered by federal investigators on Goelz’s cellphone after the execution of a search warrant.

The cellphone evidence depicting the victim engaging in oral sex with Goelz. Computer evidence showed that the video files were filmed with Goelz’s phone.

Goelz was arrested July 3 by the U.S. Marshals Service. His original detention hearing was July 10, 2018, in federal court in Indianapolis.

“Today’s sentence sends a strong message to those whom we put trust in to supervise and coach our children, that this behavior is illegal and those who take advantage of our children will face real consequences,” stated Minkler. “Protecting our youth from sexual predators will always remain a top priority of this office.”

This case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force.

“This is yet another example of a selfish and criminal act on the part of an individual who took advantage of a position of authority over a child,” stated Lieutenant Cameron Ellison of the Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force.

“Cases involving adults in such positions have become far too common in our society. Each member of our community should take note of these cases, commit to remaining off the sidelines, and communicate with law enforcement when these types of abuses are suspected. It was a community tip that led to the investigation, arrest and prosecution in this case. Law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities, at all levels, will continue to work together when such allegations are made. We will work together, with laser focus, to first protect our children, then to investigate these crimes and separate the individuals responsible from our children and society.”

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryAnn T. Mindrum, who prosecuted this case for the government, Goelz must also serve 10 years of supervised release following his sentence.

“Sexual exploitation is one of the most depraved crimes committed against humanity and this case is especially disturbing given Goelz’s position of trust,” stated Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons of the Chicago office of HSI. “This sentence serves as a reminder that HSI is committed to collaborating with its community partners to bring those who exploit children to justice.”


Rob Burgess, News Editor at NUVO, can be reached by email at, by phone at 317-808-4614 or on Twitter @robaburg.

Writer - Local Government and Justice

My background is that I'm the fourth generation in my family to work as a journalist. I also have a degree from Indiana University in Elementary Education. My wife, Ash, and I have two children, Harper, 4, and Emerald, 1.