He singled out gymnasts, molested them in back of gym as they stretched, warrant says
CAUTION: This report contains graphic descriptions of sexual abuse allegations.
FORT WORTH — At every practice back in the 1990s, the young gymnasts stretched before they started their routines at the Tulsa World of Gymnastics.
Coach Skipper Crawley singled out some of the girls, took them to the back of the gym and molested them — slipping his hand down the front of their leotards, according to an arrest warrant.
Six of the Oklahoma girls, now women in their 30s, came forward in recent weeks after they learned that Crawley had been charged with molesting girls in Fort Worth.
Crawley was arrested last month near Indianapolis on the Fort Worth charges and later extradited to Fort Worth.
He had been a gymnastics coach at Sokol Gymnastics in Fort Worth, and Fort Worth detectives believe the sexual abuse there occurred in 2017 and 2018.
Crawley, 51, of Kemp, was charged last week with 10 counts of lewd molestation in the Tulsa cases. He was charged last month in the Fort Worth cases.
Tulsa County prosecutors were able to file charges in the Tulsa cases because Oklahoma law allows victims to come forward with molestation allegations until they reach age 45, according to KOTV-TV in Tulsa.
Each of the women told Tulsa detectives they had been sexually abused by Crawley from the summer of 1993 until 1997, according to the warrant obtained by the Star-Telegram.
Crawley was fired from Tulsa World Gymnastics in 1997 after parents alerted the owners of the gym about allegations of “inappropriate touching.”
The women told Tulsa detectives that the sex abuse occurred during stretching time either during practice or at the end of practice, according to the warrant. Some of the women said Crawley touched their breasts while stretching at various gymnastics meets around Oklahoma.
The youngest was 8 years old and the oldest was 10 years old when they were coached by Crawley in the 1990s, the warrant says.
In many cases, the women said Crawley would slide his hand down the front of their leotards every time he stretched them, rubbing their breasts or touching their vaginas. Some of the girls went to the Tulsa gym for four years and attended practices six days a week.
The warrant says that after massaging the breasts of one of the girls, Crawley told her he was just “tickling her.”
The women said that Crawley had instituted a “hug line” and that at the end of every practice he lined them up and made them all hug and embrace him.
In an Aug. 14 interview with Tulsa police, Linda Bradshaw, the owner of Tulsa World Gymnastics along with her husband, told detectives she fired Crawley in 1997 as soon as parents alerted her to the sex abuse allegations.
At a parents meeting in 1997, it was decided not to report the alleged abuse to police because the parents did not want their daughters to be put through the ordeal of a trial, according to the warrant.
Bradshaw told parents she would make sure he never coached young girls again and told Tulsa police she kept up with Crawley for many years but had lost track of him the last 15 years.
In Fort Worth, Crawley, also known as “Skip,” is accused of sexually abusing several young gymnasts who were members of the same team in 2017 and 2018.
He has been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of sex abuse of a child in the Fort Worth cases, according to Tarrant County criminal court records.
Crawley was a former gymnast at Richland High School and was inducted into the Birdville ISD Sports Hall of Fame in October 2016, according to a post shared on the BISD high school gymnastics Facebook page.
He also was a gymnast at the University of Oklahoma, according to news reports.
Crawley was in the Tarrant County Jail on Wednesday in lieu of $175,000 bail.