Dutch coach accused of sexually abusing underage athletes for years

Athletics coach Jerry M. from Rotterdam is suspected of sexually abusing young athletes at multiple clubs since 1983, even getting two underage girl pregnant, the Telegraaf reports. Almost all of M.'s crimes have since become barred, but according to the newspaper, the police were aware of signs that the now 58-year-old man were abusing young athletes since at least 2000. 

Over the past summer, the Athletics Union expelled M. after 35 years as a member. The Telegraaf revealed the accusations against him on Saturday. Pieke de Zwart, director of the Athletics Union, confirmed the accusations to RTL Nieuws after the Telegraaf's report. 

According to the Telegraaf, M. made a full confession to the disciplinary committee of sports and judiciary institute ISR, after the ISR investigated his "border-crossing behavior" since 1983. The investigation revealed that at one club M. had "frequent (unprotected) sexual intercourse for the duration of several years with pregnancy as a result" with two underage girls. With two even younger girls, 11 and 15 years old, he watched animal pornography and had "almost weekly (unprotected) sexual intercourse". 

At another club, the investigation linked M. to "border-crossing massages", assaults, sexually explicit remarks and intimidation. The investigation identified a total of nine cases of abuse, but according to the disciplinary committee there may be more victims. 

M. was active at athletics association C.A.V. Energie in Barendrecht and later at Haag Atletiek, according to the newspaper. 

In the year 2000 one victim went to the police to press charges of serious sexual abuse against M., before the statute of limitations period was over, the anonymous woman told the Telegraaf. She later decided to only file a declaration, after the police told her what the consequences of pressing charges would be, she said to the newspaper. "I was alone at the time, you know. And if there would be another report later, I would still press charges. But unfortunately my report was lost by the police."

Something similar happened in 2009 at the sex crime department in Hoogvliet, which falls under Rotterdam, according to the Telegraaf. A father went to press charges against M., but finally decided to only file a declaration after the police informed him of the consequences. 

The police were unable to comment to the Telegraaf on Sunday evening. 

Athletics Union director Pieke de Zwart told RTL that the union was not able to file charges against M., because that was up to the victims. "We would also have preferred to see that it became a criminal matter and did not stay with a disciplinary case, because what happened is of course terrible." De Zwart pointed out that someone who was convicted by a disciplinary committee can still obtain a Declaration of Good Behavior. He would like the judiciary to also have access to disciplinary convictions, so that these can influence a Declaration of Good Behavior.

C.A.V Energie said in a statement that M. was a trainer at the club or more than 15 years. He was sent away in 2009 because of border-crossing behavior, but no athletes filed an official complaint against him. M. then went to work at Haag Atletiek in The Hague, but returned to C.A.V. Energie in 2016 after he submitted a Declaration of Good Behavior. "This cooperation was immediately ended after a few weeks when it turned out that he had been suspended at Haag Atletiek", C.A.V. Energie said.

Haag Atletiek said that M. was suspended in December 2017, after an adult athlete filed a complaint against M. accusing him of border-crossing behavior, RTL Nieuws writes. The association reported the incident to the Athletics Union, which prompted the investigation by the ISR.