An assistant coach at a private swim club was arrested in San Jose on Thursday on suspicion of asking several underage swimmers for nude photos and sexual favors over texts, police said Monday.
Timothy Nguyen, 25, coached at Quicksilver Swim Team, which operates at Gunderson High School in South San Jose.
On May 30, the club contacted police to report the alleged activity. Police investigators said they found that Nguyen had established a texting relationship with two boys and three girls — all between the ages of 14 and 17 — between December 2015 and January, initially texting about swimming before turning inappropriate.
"They started becoming sexual in nature, asking for sexual favors as well as nude images of these children," police spokesman Sgt. Enrique Garcia said. "Our concern is that the suspect placed himself in a position to have access to children. He is also in a position of authority."
Nguyen also allegedly tried to start a dating relationship with one of the victims, police said.
Parents were stunned and disturbed at the news of the arrest. One grandparent of a swimmer in the club said she had seen Nguyen on the pool deck during meets.
"Athletes are told and coached to pay attention to coaches and do what they say," said Linda Richards, whose granddaughter is a swimmer. "Then when (coaches) violate that and break that trust, it's awful."
Quicksilver Swim Team President Megan Blitzer sent a message to parents after the arrest was made public, noting that the swim club was "shocked and saddened by this news."
"We want to assure you that we take any allegations of employee misconduct very seriously, and we vigorously protect the safety and well-being of our athletes," the message read in part.
Nguyen was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of four misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a child under 18 and three felony counts of intimidating or persuading a witness or victim. He has since been released after posting bail, which was set at $190,000.
He did not enter a plea Tuesday, but he is expected to return to court on Aug.7.
"The community cares about active prosecution of any case where children are exposed to somebody in a position of authority and trust who exploits that position of authority and trust," Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Pinaki Chakravorty said Tuesday. "And so we would vigorously prosecute cases like this to make sure that our kids are safe."
Anyone with information about this incident has been asked to call San Jose police Detective Michael O'Grady or Detective Sgt. Brian Spears at (408) 537-1397. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call (408) 947-7867.