Ex-coach accused of sexually abusing player

HOUSTON The coach spent the night at the Harris County Jail. Police say his wife called the victim's mother, and she called police. Now, he's in a lot of trouble.

It was at the soccer fields in southwest Houston where police say 38-year-old Ian Crowe met his alleged victim. The 15-year-old girl was a player. Now the former coach is charged with sexual assault of a child.

"Mr. Crowe, did you have inappropriate contact with girls?" Eyewitness News asked him Wednesday. He didn't respond.

Bellaire police arrested Crowe at his home in Humble and brought him straight to jail. The recent case, they say, isn't the first time they've encountered him.

"First complaint was back in 2009," Sgt. Greg Bartlett said. "We got inappropriate text messaging between Mr. Crowe and one of his students."

Then they didn't have enough to prosecute.

According to Bartlett, this time they have more evidence. He says Crowe used his position as a coach with Bellaire Soccer Club, now known as Houston Express, to target the teens. After several text messages and emails which his wife eventually found, they would meet privately.

"He befriended the girl that was on his team and then meet later after hours under the reason of providing additional training and workouts for the young lady," Bartlett said.

"Do you want to say anything in your defense?" we asked him.

Crowe did not answer any questions. Police want parents and girls to focus on his face. They fear there may be more victims.

"In my mind, this guy is a true predator," Bartlett said. "He likes to focus on young ladies, 15 to 16 years of age, so it's not going to be the first young girl, I believe."

Bellaire police are asking anyone for more information to call them at 713-668-0487.

Eyewitness News tried to contact officials with Houston Express but was unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Crowe faces four counts of sexual assault of a child, one count of indecency with a child. His total bond stands at $150,000.

On Thursday, the Bellaire Soccer Club sent the following statement to parents:

    "Many of you may have seen a news story last night about a former Bellaire Soccer Club trainer who is suspected of sexually assaulting one of his former players. The trainer, who came over to Houston Express when the clubs combined operations in 2008, was with our club for the 2008/09 season. I want to assure you that the safety and well being of all of our players is of the utmost importance to Houston Express. Our prayers and support go out to this family in this very difficult time for them. Please know that we are diligent in checking the backgrounds of all of our trainers and volunteer coaches. In fact we, along with all of our fellow local youth soccer clubs, follow all South Texas Youth Soccer Association (STYSA) requirements relating to background checks for trainers, coaches and other volunteers.

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