A former Washington Twp. swim coach faces misdemeanor charges for allegedly inappropriately touching a swimmer while “stretching her out” on two occasions, according to Kettering Municipal Court records.
WTRC Sharks swim team coach John “Jay” F. Smith, 37, has been charged with two counts of sexual imposition and one count of telephone threats or harassment for allegedly contacting the family of the victim.
The incidents happened from Feb. 16 to March 2, according to court records.
“We haven’t gotten discovery yet although we have requested it,” said Christopher Deal, Smith’s attorney. “Once we get the discovery, we’re going to find out more regarding the allegations that have been made against my client.”
Deal said his client is being charged with third-degree misdemeanors (convictions can mean up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine) and that felony charges are not being sought. Deal said Smith has no prior criminal record.
“He is a fairly well-respected member of the community,” Deal said Friday. “We’re just patiently awaiting to get the police reports.”
A Kettering Municipal Court official said Deal appeared for Smith during an April 6 hearing and entered a not guilty plea. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for May 24.
WTRC Sharks president Jeff Zipes declined an interview request, but said: “We take the safety of our swimmers very seriously. We reported the incident as soon as we became aware of it and have fully cooperated with the investigation. Jay Smith is no longer with the team.”
According to a complaint and affidavit written by a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office detective, Smith had a one-on-one practice with a minor victim on Feb. 16 and “asked the minor victim to meet him in the equipment room so he could stretch her out,” according to the statement of facts.
According to court documents, Smith pulled out baby oil and “rubbed the minor victim underneath the bathing suit and rubbed the minor victim’s butt and back.” Court records indicated “he also rubbed the minor victim in the front.”
A second similar incident was reported by the same victim on Feb. 27, but that Smith was accused of being “more invasive.”
On March 1, Smith was told not to have contact with the minor victim or her family. Court documents indicated that on March 2, Smith made contact with the victim.
Smith was the coach of the Washington Township Recreation Center for nearly three years. The WTRC Sharks are a year-round USA Swimming competitive swim team, according to the organization’s web site.
Washington Twp. administrator Jesse Lightle said the independently managed private club and coaching staff are not township entities. “Washington Township is very concerned and saddened about these allegations involving an organization that uses our facilities,” Lightle said in a statement released Friday. “The township is assisting law enforcement officials with all requests that arise from their investigation.”
A September 2016 Dayton Daily News article said Smith came to the area from Bettendorf, Iowa, where he was the head coach at Pleasant Valley High School and won a state title in 2014.
“Coaching is about developing people,” Smith was quoted as saying. “It’s my goal to not only provide the best environment for athletic development but to also create an experience that helps our swimmers develop into good people.”
The USA Swimming website listed a John “Jay” Smith from Ohio as an individual permanently suspended or ineligible for membership effective April 10. Smith is said to have a USA Swimming code of conduct violation, according to the site.
The code said massages must be in public locations and not be performed by a coach “under any circumstances.”
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.