TACOMA, WA - Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Kelly John Bendixen, 52, with one count of sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree for allegedly fondling H.L., a 16-year-old female player, while working as her private soccer coach.
"Our youth are among the most vulnerable in our community,” said Prosecutor Lindquist. "Washington has a law that prohibits sex between coaches and those they supervise.”
In the time leading up to August 6, 2018, Bendixen and H.L. discussed personal information together, including having conversations about personal topics such as sexuality and problems in Bendixen’s marriage.
On August 6, 2018, H.L. had a coaching session with Bendixen. He picked up H.L. from her home in Fircrest and drove her to Starfire, a soccer complex located in Tukwila, Washington. They were alone together on this drive and at some point, Bendixen placed his hand on H.L.'s leg and stroked it. He asked if H.L. was okay with him putting his hand there, and she said, "yes." Bendixen gradually moved his hand further up her leg.
On the drive back to Tacoma, the two stopped and had dinner at a drive-in. After they went through the drive-in, Bendixen began touching her again. Once they were back in Pierce County, Bendixen pulled into a residential area and parked the car. He moved his fingers under H.L.'s underwear while kissing her neck. Bendixen then took H.L. home.
Five days later, on August 11, 2018, H.L. confessed to her priest what had happened, and she told her mom who called police. Bendixen denied doing anything inappropriate.
Bendixen has been a private soccer coach for more than 30 years. Ten years ago, he began operating Bendixen Goal Keeping Academy, offering private and group training sessions.
Bail is set at $25,000.00.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, [email protected].