FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — A local diving coach has been arrested on multiple counts of child seduction and sexual misconduct.
According to Fishers Police Department, 34-year-old Johel Ramirez Suarez has been taken into custody. Ramirez was the assistant dive coach for North Central High School and a dive coach at Ripfest Diving. He faces thirty two counts including five sexual misconduct with a minor, five child seduction and twenty-two charges of battery. Investigators believe the sexual misconduct began in September of 2015 and lasted right before his arrest on Tuesday.
With his hands handcuffed behind his back, police escorted Ramirez into the Hamilton County Jail on Tuesday. Although Ramirez was a dive coach for North Central, that is not where the allegations stemmed from. Most, come from Ripfest Diving; a specialized training facility in the small town of Arcadia.
“I mean that’s huge. That’s my backyard, literally my backyard,” said Abigail Davis who lives right behind Ripfest Diving.
Lisa Miller who also lives nearby added, “It’s sad and scary to hear it in your own town.”
Arcadia is generally quiet, but has been making a splash lately. Just last month, WISH-TV highlighted in a story Ripfest. It’s led by a former head coach for the USA Olympics diving team. It’s where divers go for high level training. Some, live there and train full time.
It’s uncertain how long Ramirez was a coach there. But, police say they began investigating two weeks ago after a 16-year old confided in a former member of the school. The juvenile told police that Ramirez rubbed her vaginal area while stretching and massaging her. According to court documents, it began when she was just 15 years old and happened more times than she could count.
That former student whom the juvenile confided in also accused Ramirez of touching her on two occasions. She is now an adult.
One other adult, who was also a former student, came forward. She accused Ramirez of touching her while he was supposed to be stretching her. Ramirez allegedly asked her, ‘Do you like that.’
Neither Washington Township Schools nor Ripfest Diving wanted to go on camera but issued statements.
Washington Township Schools released the following statement after learning of the arrest:
Washington Township Schools received information from Hamilton County Law Enforcement that our assistant diving coach, Johel Ramirez, has allegations levied against him of improper conduct through a swim club he is associated with in Arcadia, IN. Immediately upon receiving this information, Washington Township placed him on administrative leave from his assistant diving coaching position at North Central High School pending further investigation. We do not have any reports or information that any students in Washington Township are involved in this alleged misconduct.
Ripfest also released the following statement after the arrest:
When we were made aware of allegations against one of our coaches, we immediately removed him from our program and instructed him not to return to our facility pending the outcome of the investigation. In light of recent developments, we have terminated him immediately. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and we will continue to do so. RipFest Diving is committed to providing the highest quality training for our diving students in an extremely professional and safe environment.
Ramirez Suarez was taken into custody following an interview at his Noblesville home Sunday.
He is currently being held at the Hamilton County Jail.
The case remains under investigation.