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Police: Utah youth gymnastics coach engaged in illegal sexual activity with teen

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(FILE Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

A Layton gymnastics coach is accused of engaging in illegal sexual activities with a minor, who reportedly told police he inappropriately touched her, sent her pictures of his penis, and asked her to get naked at private practices.

Kelly Christian Brown, 31, was arrested on charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a third-degree felony, two counts of dealing with material harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony, and sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, a probable cause affidavit states.

Brown was booked into the Davis County Jail Tuesday after a teenage girl accused him of sexually abusing her on multiple occasions over the past few years while he was her gymnastics coach.

Her parents contacted police and said Brown touched their daughter's private parts while helping her stretch at gymnastics practice, the affidavit states. When she began private lessons, the girl said Brown would ask to see her private parts, and she would show him.

During an interview with law enforcement at the Children's Justice Center in Farmington, the teen accused Brown of speaking "in a sexual nature" at practice when she was just 15.

The affidavit states Brown would touch the girl inappropriately and "try to move her leotard." He reportedly told her that he could not wait until she was 18 to have sex and that he wished they lived in Russia, where sex with 16-year-olds is legal.

During private practices, the teen said Brown asked her to remove her leotard, so he could see her naked. She did as he asked on several occasions. They also allegedly exchanged text messages and photographs of themselves, including explicit images.

Brown was taken into custody Tuesday at a local gym and was brought to the Logan City Police Department for questioning.

During an interview, Brown said he had a drinking problem a few years ago and "knew that he had made mistakes." The affidavit states Brown knew police wanted to speak with him about the illegal sexual activity he had engaged in with an underage girl, who he identified by name.

Brown reportedly admitted to sending and receiving the explicit images and asking to see the then-15-year-old girl's private parts during a lesson but denied ever touching her inappropriately. He again said that he had a drinking problem at the time and did not recall something of "that nature happening."

The affidavit states Brown denied having any other similar interactions with other girls.

"Prior to his arrest, North Davis Gymnastics had no knowledge of any malfeasance on the part of Mr. Brown," owner Kimberly Daniels wrote in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. "NDG does not allow coaches to engage in inappropriate contact or be alone with students, and was unaware Mr. Brown was violating not only these practices, but the law."

Brown was "immediately terminated" when the accusations against him came to light, Daniels said, and the gym is cooperating with the criminal investigation.

Daniels continues:

"We unequivocally condemn the despicable conduct of which Mr. Brown is accused, and applaud the courage of the gymnast who brought it to light.

North Davis Gymnastics is committed every day to ensuring our athletes are safe, and to developing a culture of safety and empowerment. We have and will continue to take specific and concrete steps to prevent future abuse by furthering our efforts to vigorously enforce the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy and monitor all staff and student activity accordingly.

Additionally, NDG has reported the arrest to USA Gymnastics per Safe Sport guidelines, which has now suspended Mr. Brown’s membership and forbidden all contact with USA Gymnastics member clubs, members, and events.

Our continued thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family. In the interest of protecting their privacy, North Davis Gymnastics will not be making further statements at this time."

Individuals charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

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