Fort Worth

Victims Speak Out After Gymnastics Coach Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Assaults

While delivering victim impact statements, victims encourage others to speak up as soon as possible

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NBC 5 is not using any of the victims' names, but they wanted to share the stories they shared in court Friday.

Three young victims and a fourth who is now an adult gave victim impact statements in a Fort Worth courtroom Friday as 53-year-old "Skipper" Glen Crawley was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Crawley showed no emotion as he pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. The same could not be said for the others seated in the courtroom.

"It was hard to keep a dry eye in the room," Assistant Tarrant County District Attorney Darren de la Cruz said. "You could see the impact this defendant has had on his victims over the course of three decades."

Three decades. That's how long one of Crawley's victims has been carrying her story of abuse.

I did not make this up. I did not dream this. I did not lie. You committed unspeakable acts on multiple girls.

Unnamed victim says of her abuse

That victim said the abuse started before her 12th birthday in 1991. She's now an adult and said she came forward because the other young victims did.

All of the girls were students at Sokol Gymnastics in Fort Worth, where Crawley coached.

"I was only 7 when it started," one girl said. Now 9-years-old, her legs are still not long enough to touch the floor as she sat on a bench in the courthouse.

He changed me. When you look into his eyes, all you see is pure evil.

9-year-old victim says of her abuser

All of the girls said they had second thoughts about delivering their victim impact statements themselves, until they walked in the courtroom and came face-to-face with Crawley.

The three young girls said the abuse happened in plain sight -- and no one noticed.

"At night I can still feel him breathing on my neck and him talking in my ear," said a 14-year-old victim who was 12 when the abuse started. "It was continuous."

Her mother said Crawley was like family. No one suspected anything until her daughter finally spoke out.

He even came to my house to talk and touched me inappropriately. He brought me pickles, because he knows that's my favorite thing to eat, so he can warm me up.

9-year-old unnamed victim said of her abuser

"She didn't tell because she didn't want to leave her career of gymnastics at 7 years old," her mother said. "She'll never be the little girl she was destined to be, because he changed that course. But whatever she is, she'll be great."

The girls have all started to take gymnastics again at different gyms.

"I couldn't even go into a gymnastic gym without breaking down," the 14-year-old said. "Yesterday was my first day back in a gymnastics gym."

"Almost every time I'm by a boy coach, I can't," said the 9-year-old. "He changed me with my trust issues. I can't trust boy coaches now."

The girls said they would encourage anyone else in their situation to speak out and tell someone.

"I've learned a lot from this lesson, that you should maybe speak up as soon as it happens"

unnamed victim

"A lot of our lives changed a lot after what happened to us," a now 13-year-old victim said. She was 10 when the abuse started. "He's in prison now and he can't hurt us anymore."

In all, 11 charges were filed against Crawley for abusing girls in Texas and Oklahoma. He was arrested in Indiana after fleeing the Lone Star State. Crawley will be eligible for parole in 25 years, when he's 78 years old.

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