Rotterdam athletics coach arrested for child sex abuse

The police arrested Rotterdam athletics coach Jerry M. on suspicion of sexually abusing minor girls for years at various sports clubs in the Rotterdam region. The investigators are also looking into abuses "outside the Netherlands", the Public Prosecutor announced. 

Over the past months the authorities spoke to 60 people in the athletics world, the Prosecutor said. The man was now arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and sexual acts with minors. The decision about whether he will be prosecuted will be made later this week.

Over the past summer the 58-year-old man confessed to sexually abusing children after an investigation by the sports and judiciary institute ISR. The ISR found that M. abused at least nine victims, the youngest of whom was 11 years old, between 1983 and 2017 at various athletics clubs in Rotterdam and The Hague. 

In the 1980s the man had unprotected sex with at least four athletes between the ages of 11 and 18 for years. Two of them became pregnant. Between 2008 and 2017 the ISR found more misconduct, including border-crossing massages and sexual harassment. The ISR stated that there may be more victims, but the investigation was limited to the nine girls "for procedural reasons". The institute also noted that M. did not express any remorse or empathy.

The investigation and M.'s confession led to his expulsion from the Athletics Union after 35 years of being a member. The Public Prosecutor launched an investigation into this case in January.