Fellow Coach Told Management About ‘Touchy’ Behavior Before Arrest On Sex Assault Charges
BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4)– Arrest records state that a fellow gymnastics coach told management about one coach’s “touchy” behavior before he was arrested for sexual assault on a child.
The charges allege that Robert Edward Barke sexually assaulted two juvenile males he coached from October 2004 to June 2007. The victims were ages 12 to 14 at the time the alleged assaults began.
Barke, 32, now faces 20 different counts of sex abuse, including sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and unlawful sexual contact.
He worked at Xtreme Altitude Gymnastics located on the 2600 block of Industrial Lane at the time.
The owners of Xtreme Altitude Gymnastics declined an interview request by CBS4 but released a statement saying the following:
“We were all extremely shocked to hear about this news. It has been quite a few years since he worked for us and we knew nothing of the situation prior to recently being contacted by authorities.”
However, according to the arrest affidavit, a fellow coach told management that he was concerned about Barke’s “closeness” with some of the gymnasts and that he was very “touchy.”
That coach, whose name is not being released, claimed he went to management on two occasions with what he saw as “questionable” behavior by Barke.
According to the arrest affidavit one of the victim’s mothers called police after her son confided in her about what was happening. That’s when she learned he may not have been the only victim.
Both of the victims related to this case are now adults.
Both told police that on separate occasions when alone with Barke, the coach played pornographic videos and touched them inappropriately.
One victim said Barke told him, “I only do this because I love you and you’re my favorite.”
Barke, who now lives in Houston, was arrested March 27 and released on $100,000 bond. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Wednesday and will be arraigned June 20.
Barke was terminated from his gymnastics coaching position in Texas when the investigation began in March.
“We are absolutely surprised and perplexed,” said Champion Gymnsastic Academy Owner Hideo Mizoguchi. “He was a very good employee.”
Mizoguchi added, “This young man should be given the chance to prove his innocence.”
Xtreme Altitude Gymnastics also has a location in Lafayette and police have not indicated if Barke was ever a coach at that facility. Barke previously was a gymnastics coach in Grand Junction.
The Broomfield Police Department is seeking information about other potential witnesses or victims who have not yet come forward in their investigation. Anyone with information that might be helpful is asked contact Detective Dale Hammell at 303-464-5733.