[Courtesy of New York Post: https://nypost.com/2018/05/17/gymnastics-coach-charged-with-sexually-abusing-kids/]
A gymnastics coach who owned gyms in Rockland County has been accused of sexually abusing at least five young children over a 13-year period, police said Thursday.
Joseph Lewin, 67, of Port Chester in Westchester County, trained children at Joe’s Gym in Hillburn and The Gym in Suffern, The Journal News reported.
He was charged Thursday with five counts of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and first-degree sexual abuse, both felonies, in connection with the incidents from 2001 to 2014, police said.
“We’re concerned there could be more victims,” Ramapo police Detective Lt. Michael Colbath said at a news conference, without releasing the genders of the alleged victims or information about possible evidence.
“This is a very sensitive issue,” Colbath said. “Hopefully, this will bring some closure for the victims.”
One person went to Ramapo police about six weeks ago to provide information about the suspect — leading investigators to interview others about their alleged abuse, Colbath said.
“There’s a possibility there may be adult victims 16 and older, as well,” he added. “We know it’s a very sensitive topic” for people to come forward.
The allegations follow the recent lengthy prison sentences imposed on Larry Nassar, 54, the sicko former USA Gymnastics sports doctor, for sexual abuse and child pornography.
On Wednesday, Michigan State University – his former employer – reached a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women.
Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel on Thursday said he would be “speculating” to say the #MeToo movement and the Nassar case led Lewin’s alleged victims to speak out.
“We don’t necessarily know what sparked them to tell people they trust and come to us,” he said.
Lewin, who also is known as Joseph Lewandoski, was released on $10,000 bail after his arraignment in Hillburn Justice Court.