Marvin Sharp, Gymnastics Coach Accused of Child Molestation, Found Dead in Jail Cell: Reports

Marvin Sharp, Gymnastics Coach Accused of Child Molestation, Found Dead in Jail Cell: Reports

AMarvin Sharp, a gymnastics coach facing child molestation and sexual misconduct charges in Indianapolis was found dead in his jail cell on Saturday night in an apparent suicide, authorities said.

Former Olympic coach, Marvin Sharp, 49, was discovered just after 8 p.m. at the county jail where he was being held, Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Katie Carlson said. Authorities believe he committed suicide, she said.

NBC affiliate WTHR reported, Sharp was arrested last month after authorities raided his home and found thousands of video and image files containing child pornography.

According to the academy’s website, Sharp, who opened Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy 14 years ago, sent over 100 athletes to national championships.

 Marvin Sharp Found Dead In Prison

Marvin Sharp Found Dead In Prison

In 2008, two of his gymnasts — Samantha Peszek and Bridget Sloan — won silver medals at the Olympic games in Bejing.

According to criminal court documents, one young student described a recent two-year period when Sharp took “hundreds if not thousands of photos of her in various poses.”

Sharp would allegedly touch her inappropriately, the documents say, and at one point he asked her to wear a straightjacket.

In an interview with police, Sharp confirmed the photo-shoots but described the photographs as “muscle pictures” and said the student’s mother authorized them, according to the documents. Sharp told police he did not mean to make the student “feel uncomfortable,” the documents say.

At least one coach and gymnast were defending Sharp before his death, local news station WTTV reported after his August arrest.

Marvin Sharp - who coached Olympians Bridget Sloan (right) and Samantha Peszek (left) was booked into jail in August on one count of felony child molestation. He was found dead in his cell on Saturday night

Marvin Sharp – who coached Olympians Bridget Sloan (right) and Samantha Peszek (left) was booked into jail in August on one count of felony child molestation. He was found dead in his cell on Saturday night

“I stand by Marvin. I have never seen him behave in any way whatsoever other than respectfully toward any gymnast. Gymnastics is a sport where its very nature puts male coaches at risk of false accusations,” Michele Callahan, a current coach at Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy, wrote in a statement to the news station.

Sharp was being held on four counts each of child molestation and sexual conduct with a minor, according to jail records. He was booked on Aug. 24.

Sharp’s death came on the annual National Gymnastics Day. The event, which is sponsored by USA Gymnastics, was in its 17th year.