Court documents: Ex-swim instructor told investigators he abused little girls

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- A teenage swim instructor who was fired from a popular Beaverton athletic club and accused of sexually absuing young girls has been found not guilty.

Mitchell Kelly, 17, was first investigated last Monday after Washington County sheriff's deputies were contacted by the Sunset Athletic Center, located at 13939 NW Cornell Road, to investigate a complaint that Kelly had inappropriate sexual contact with two girls. The department's child abuse detectives, who are helping in the case, now fear there may be additional victims due to Kelly's employment "placing him in close proximity to children" and "extensive contact with children."

According to court documents On Your Side Investigators obtained Thursday, the abuse happened last Monday evening during one of the club's swim classes. Documents said Kelly took his four students, including two girls and two boys, into the sauna room, exposed himself, and touched the girls in a number of disturbing ways.

The documents state that one of the alleged victims, a little girl who is just six years old, told her parents about what she said happened inside the sauna room. Her parents then relayed that information to investigators.

The court records also state, during a recorded interview with investigators, Kelly described in detail how he touched the girls.

Kelly also told investigators the boys were several feet away and when they asked what was going on, he told them to "get into the stretch position."

Athletic club general manager Carleen Prentice told the On Your Side Investigators that employees realized Kelly brought the kids outside of the pool area - which is against protocal - within minutes. Prentice said Kelly was teaching back-to-back 30 minute classes and employees followed Kelly into the sauna room so that he would be ready in time for the following class. Prentice said no employees saw anything suspicious.

However, since there is no tolerance for bringing kids outside of the pool area, Prentice said Kelly was fired on the spot.

Prentice declined to go on camera but said Kelly was background checked and, in fact, had recommendations from Sunset Athletic Club employees which helped lead to the decision to hire him at the club. He said he was a student at Sunset High School and well known at the club.

Prentice said she spoke with all swim parents, on an individual level, whose children had swim lessons with Kelly.

Child abuse detectives said they processed evidence and interviewed a number of people who had knowledge of the incident.

Three days later, after deputies said they'd gathered enough evidence, they arrested Kelly and took him to the Washington County Jail. He was arraigned in adult court on June 30. Kelly was initially charged with two counts of First Degree Sexual Abuse and two counts of Using a Child in Display of Sexually Explicit Conduct. However, detectives said other charges will be forthcoming after the case is presented to a Washington County Grand Jury.

According to detectives, Kelly had been a swimming instructor at the club since October 2013. They said Kelly's role was to teach children how to swim as well as act as a lifeguard. He taught individual and group lessons.

Kelly worked at the Beaverton Swim Center on NW Science Park Road for about eight months prior to his employment at Sunset Athletic Center.

The On Your Side Investigators contacted Kelly's mother Thursday but she declined to comment.