Speaking Up About Sexually Abusive Coaches

Breedlove also discovered that USA Gymnastics, the group that governs U.S. gymnastics, had investigated Schiefelbein back in the mid-1990s.

According to USA-G's current president, Bob Colarossi, USA-G put Schiefelbein on probation after discovering his inappropriate behavior with students.

"The appropriate measure was to put him on probation for a year and monitor him closely," Colarossi said.

But the group did not make Schiefelbein's probation public. So other gym owners had no idea that Schiefelbein posed a threat to their students.

Asked why the USA-G didn't disclose their findings about Schiefelbein, Colarossi said, "That's just not what our policy is as it relates to misconduct at that level."

And when Breedlove sought details about Schiefelbein's past from the group, he said, "They would not release any information to me without a subpoena."

Had Jill and Ross Robinson known about Schiefelbein's past, they say, they never would have allowed him near Becca.

Spotting the Warning Signs

So it fell to their 13-year-old girl to tell the truth about Schiefelbein. In July 2003, he was convicted of seven counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. He was given a 96-year sentence. He has since filed a motion for a new trial, however.

Becca's parents still wonder how they could have missed the warning signs.

"When I sat and listened during the sentencing hearing, and heard the psychologist talk about the red flags and the cycle of grooming. It just made me sick because it was like a blueprint of what happened to us."

Experts say parents can spot that blueprint by watching for some warning signs.

A few of the red flags may be:

-- rides home alone with a coach

-- gifts or cards from a coach

-- sleepovers at the coach's house

-- a coach who's worked in many different places

-- a child who suddenly wants to quit her sport

And Becca has her own advice for any kids out there who may be going through what she endured.

"I'd tell them to tell their parents right now. And I know it's really hard for them to talk about it. But in the long run it's so much better."

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