Kenneth A. Arnold, 33, of Crawfordsville – a former gymnastics coach at an athletic center in Zionsville — was found guilty Sept. 21 of three counts of child molesting as a Level 1 felony.
After a day-long contested bench trial, Boone County Superior Court II Judge Bruce E. Petit announced the verdicts. The charges stem from acts committed by Arnold between January of 2014 and December of 2016 while he was working as a gymnastics coach at an athletic center in Zionsville. The victim was under the age of 14 at the time of the criminal acts. The specific allegations came to light in the fall of 2020 after the juvenile victim disclosed the abuse through counseling and notification of such was made to authorities.
Arnold had previously been the subject of two investigations in 2016 of other sex crime-related charges that were alleged to have occurred during the same time period of these charges. One of the cases went to trial and the jury was unable to reach a verdict. On the second case, a plea agreement was reached after consultation with the parents of the victims who desired not to put their young children through the trial process.
The prosecution team was led by Special Victim’s Prosecutor Heidi Jennings, co-counsel Deputy Prosecutor Christina Pace and Victim Advocate Director Tracey Christner. After the verdict, Jennings stated:
“We are extremely happy that we were able to obtain this important verdict for the victim, the victim’s family, and the community. Our job is not finished as we still have a sentencing hearing coming up where we will be advocating for a lengthy sentence.”
The sentencing hearing for Arnold is set for Nov. 21 at 1:30 PM in Boone Superior Court II.