Macon – A tennis coach pleaded guilty Wednesday to molesting a 15-year-old student in 2016.
Benjamin Joseph Swain, 44, of Charlotte, N.C., pleaded guilty to enticing a child for indecent purposes and child molestation during a hearing in Bibb County Superior Court.
Swain was sentenced to 30 years, a dozen of them in prison. After his release from prison, he must abide by sex offender terms of probation and register as a sex offender.
If the case had gone to trial, Chief Assistant District Attorney Nancy Scott Malcor would have presented evidence showing:
Swain began coaching the Macon girl after meeting her and her family in April 2016 at an out-of-town tennis tournament.
The girl played with Swain’s students in North Carolina for a week in May. Swain and the girl exchanged text messages after the girl returned to Macon.
Swain traveled to Macon May 31, 2016, and stayed at the girl’s family’s home until June 3. During the visit, he took the girl to a gym and local tennis court where it was later discovered that he’d kissed and fondled her. He also had her touch his genitals.
A concerned friend discovered incriminating text messages on the girl’s phone in June 2016 and reported them to an adult.
Swain, unaware of a newly launched Bibb County Sheriff’s Office investigation, made plans to return to Macon and was arrested June 16, 2016.
Further investigation revealed Swain had engaged in similar behavior with students in North Carolina. He admitted molesting a 14-year-old girl and giving her a sex toy.
Swain also admitted to investigators he’s recorded videos of female students in hotel bathrooms during tournament trips.
Swain could face additional federal and state charges in North Carolina.
Speaking after Wednesday’s hearing, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke said, “Mr. Swain made his victims feel too small to hold him accountable. By coming forward to bring him to justice, this young lady is standing tall as a giant, knowing that he will never do this to another girl. Because of her, his time is up.”
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Contact: Amy Leigh Womack