JEFFERSONVILLE — A Jeffersonville youth gymnastics coach has been charged with four felonies for child molestation; investigators say they don’t believe at this time that any students at the gym were affected.
Christopher S. Wilkerson, 30, is charged with four level 4 felonies for child molestation related to what investigators say were two victims under 14 years old, between November 2017 and November 2019. He appeared Monday for an initial hearing where a not guilty plea was entered and $10,000 cash-only bond set.
Court records show police were contacted on Jan. 20 by a case manager for the Department of Child Protective Services, who told them that Wilkerson had reported having molested the two children on separate occasions, including while they were sleeping. Police say he had at first told a family member that he was considering turning himself in because he had “thoughts of putting himself in compromising positions” with the two victims, but had not done so yet. He later admitted that he had struggled with his sexuality and was experimenting with it through the child victims.
Wilkerson was employed as a gymnastics coach at SIGS Sportsplex in New Albany from December 2012 to August 2016, and again from April 2018 until his resignation Jan. 21. While there, he coached children from 3 years old to about 17.
Although none of the center’s children are listed in the case, Brittany and Tyler Alexander, who own the business, said they contacted parents as soon as charges were filed to let them know of the allegations. They sent a letter Monday morning outlining what the business does to ensure safety of children, including that is designed with an open-air layout, which allows parents to see class interactions.
It also states that background checks are performed on all employees with ongoing training and safety monitoring through USA Gymnastics and SafeSport, which Brittany Alexander said Wilkerson was current on.
“Chris Wilkerson was an employee at SIGS and resigned earlier this year,” the owners said in a media statement given to the News and Tribune Monday. “No reports include that the alleged incidents involved SIGS’ athletes, staff, or customers. We have no reason to believe anything occurred at SIGS. Like all employees, he was background checked and references were consulted. Our staff receives ongoing, frequent training and we adhere to strict protocols around athlete safety. Our family’s health and safety is our number one priority and has been for more than 40 years.”
The center has around 1,000 students weekly in its programs.
Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said in a text message he does not expect additional charges to be filed in this case, however anyone with additional information can contact the Jeffersonville Police Department detective division at 812-285-6535.
Wilkerson has a pretrial conference set for March 26 with a jury trial scheduled for May 19 at 8:30 a.m. in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1.