Speaking Up About Sexually Abusive Coaches

There was a steady stream of gifts for Becca, but with the gifts came the sexual abuse.

"I just wish I wasn't exactly the favorite, 'cause then maybe that bad stuff wouldn't have happened to me," she said.

"At first," Becca said, "his hands would accidentally slip under my leotard and I'd be like, 'Mark, don't put your fingers there.' And he would bring his fingers out, then they'd just slip back under again."

Becca said Schiefelbein began to touch her when she wasn't stretching and she would tell him to stop. But, she said, he'd bribe her into letting him do it by manipulating her -- promising her he wouldn't do it again if she let him do it just this time. "I'd say no, but he'd end up doing it anyway," Becca said.

Becca says she even let Schiefelbein videotape her, when he claimed that he would stop his abuse.

"I let him do it so he wouldn't have to ever touch me again. Then, he was like, 'Oh, I looked at it last night and it wasn't good enough so we're gonna have to do it today.' "

Becca said she was afraid to tell her parents about the abuse, because she was scared of what Schiefelbein would do. "He told me that I would be in trouble and he would be in trouble and that the people at the gym would not like me," she said.

Even as Schiefelbein was abusing Becca, he was hanging out at the Robinsons' home, ingratiating himself with Becca's parents. He became a part of their family life, joining them at church and for Sunday dinners. All the while, Schiefelbein continued to abuse their little girl.

'I Trusted Him Completely'

The Robinsons said their first indication that something may be wrong came when Becca decided to quit the gym. They say Schiefelbein's reaction struck them as excessive and strange. He cried and begged Becca to change her mind.

"A 37-year-old man should not be crying because a 12-year-old girl is quitting gymnastics," Becca's father said, adding, "I said, something's not right here. This is not normal behavior."

Not long after, Jill Robinson asked Becca if Schiefelbein had been touching her inappropriately.

"I don't know how it came to my mind, because I'd never really thought that he could hurt her that way. I trusted him completely," she said.

Becca said she was relieved to finally be able to confide in someone. "I was like, 'yes, mom, he is, and I'm so glad I could tell you. I was so scared that I was gonna get in trouble,' " she said.

The Robinsons contacted the police and Becca told her story to Brentwood Detective Adrian Breedlove.

Breedlove later arranged a phone call between Becca and Schiefelbein, in which Becca told Schiefelbein that she wanted to come back to the gym on the condition that he wouldn't touch her any more.

Breedlove obtained search warrants of Schiefelbein's home and gym, and authorities discovered a hidden video camera in the Esprit Gym bathroom. At Schiefelbein's home they found tapes he had taken during his coaching sessions in which he had zoomed in on the pelvic regions of young female gymnasts -- 248 times.

Gymnastics Group Had Investigated Coach

Even more shocking, however, was Breedlove's discovery that Schiefelbein had been cited for similar problems in past coaching stints in California, Illinois and Utah.

"There was one incident in California, where he was fired for having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old. He had also been warned about inappropriate activities with children," Breedlove said.

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