SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A former gymnastics coach, accused of taking secret videos of local underage children, may have been involved in similar activity years before coming to Southern Oregon.
A lawyer in Southern California is saying if authorities there had taken those accusations more seriously, it could have prevented children in Oregon from being victimized. Last week, 54-year-old Jeffery Bettman was charged with taking lewd videos of students at both the Southern Oregon Gymnastic Academy in Medford, and Ultimate Sports Gymnastics in Grants Pass.
Court records show that twelve years ago, while Bettman was a coach with the University of California – Santa Barbara’s club gymnastics team, he and his employer were sued by the parents of two young girls, who claimed Bettman had sexually assaulted their daughters, ages 10 and 14. The attorney who filed that suit believes UCSB withheld information.
A report filed with the UCSB Police Department claims supervisors at the university met with parents in 1994 to discuss complaints on Bettman’s inappropriate physical contact with girls. The defense attorney in the case said the jurors unanimously agreed there was not enough evidence against Bettman and UCSB. Shortly after the case, Bettman left the university and moved to Oregon.