FARMINGTON — Written statements from two teenage girls allegedly sexually abused by their gymnastics coach detail the events and speak to the lasting trauma they say they have suffered.
The disclosures were read during Davis County prosecutors’ presentation of their case Monday against Kelly Christian Brown, a former coach at gyms in Bountiful and Layton.
Brown, 32, of North Ogden, was charged in January after a girl came forward to accuse him of abusing her in 2018 when she was 15. More charges were added when a second girl saw news coverage of Brown’s arrest and she approached authorities as well.
Portions of the girls’ statements were read to the court. The first girl, in the Layton case, said Brown engaged her in personal conversations “and they always turned sexual.”
She said he touched her sexually, sent her explicit photos of himself and told her to delete all the texts.
“I hated what was happening, but I felt like it was the only way to get the coaching I wanted,” she said.
Everything changed when Brown got engaged in late 2018, she said. No more private coaching sessions and no more personal attention.
“I had been used, thrown away,” she wrote, adding that she then followed a self-destructive path, abusing alcohol, smoking marijuana and quitting gymnastics. She said her parents enrolled her in online school and she rebuilt her life.
The second girl’s testimony said Brown allegedly told her “he couldn’t wait to see me naked” when she turned 18. She was 15 at the time, in 2016. He allegedly sent her explicit photos and groped and sexually touched her, she said.
“I felt it was my fault,” she said. “I never took another tumbling class. I let other guys sexualize my body because I thought that was how it was supposed to be.”
She said that when she saw a newspaper story about Brown’s case, she realized “his actions are not and never will be my fault. I am proud to bring these things to light, and God bless this courageous girl (the Layton student) for coming forward.”
Defense attorney Tara Isaacson argued that several of the eight charges against Brown lack sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. She said none of the alleged explicit photos have been entered as evidence for the case and that Brown, in a police interview, did not admit to sexually touching the first girl.
A police transcript quoted Brown saying “I never touched her like that” when a detective asked if he had touched the girl’s genitals, Isaacson noted.
Judge David Williams ruled that prosecutors had demonstrated sufficient evidence at least to send the case toward trial.
After the ruling, Brown — held at the Davis County Jail pending trial — pleaded not guilty to all charges.
He is accused of first-degree felony object rape; forcible sexual abuse and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second-degree felonies; three counts of dealing in materials harmful to a minor, third-degree felonies; and class A misdemeanor sexual abuse of a minor.
Williams set a pretrial conference for May 18.