Parents react to gymnastic academy owner’s arrest

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officials have arrested a man following a raid on the northwest side of Indianapolis.

Police said the raid had to do with a child abuse investigation.

Jail records show the owner of the home and owner of Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy, Marvin Sharp, was arrested and preliminarily charged with child molestation.

So far, specifics about the charges against Sharp are unclear, but officers were at his home since 5 p.m. Sunday with a mobile forensic lab. Police were inside both the home and the mobile unit.

24-Hour News 8 learned last week that Indiana State Police used the mobile lab to quickly analyze electronics such as computers, hard drives and cell phones to gather evidence.

Sharp owns Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy on Georgetown Road. That gym teaches gymnastics to preschool aged kids and up.

USA Gymnastics released a statement:

USA Gymnastics is cooperating with law enforcement’s active investigation concerning Marvin Sharp. USA Gymnastics promotes a safe environment for its athletes and takes seriously any allegations regarding misconduct.

24-Hour News 8 visited the gym Monday afternoon. Classes were going on as scheduled. Some parents who were dropping off their kids knew about the arrest, but others had no idea.

“I hope it’s not true what I’m hearing,” said Sandy Litzelman who was picking up her granddaughter from a class.  “This has been a great studio and been great for her. Her dream is to go to the Olympics some day so I was very sorry to hear about (the arrest).”

Another parent who declined to go on camera said the news was sickening. She showed up to the gym hoping to find out if she could pull her children from their classes and get a refund. After going inside to talk to staff she said she couldn’t get any answers. She said she felt bad for the other coaches and staff.

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