Former gymnastics coach pleads guilty to possessing child sexual abuse materials

Nov. 21—WILKES-BARRE — Arrested in April on 1,000 counts of possessing and sharing child sexual abuse materials, a former gymnastics coach pled guilty to two offenses in Luzerne County Court.

Andrew P. Neafie, 54, last known address as Keller Road, Fairmount Township, was arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police and detectives with the district attorney's office and West Hazleton police when a search warrant was served at his residence April 21.

The search warrant was the result of investigating several Cyber tips generated from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that depicted videos and images of children involved in sex acts, according to court records.

When Neafie was arrested, he told detectives he was a gymnastics coach for more than three decades focusing on children from 8 to 18-years-old.

Neafie admitted during the interview with detectives, court records say, he found younger "fit" females attractive and described coming across child sexual abuse materials while conducting online research of a nudist resort in western Pennsylvania.

At the time of Neafie's arrest, District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce announced detectives believed Neafie had inappropriate contact with young gymnasts.

Sanguedolce could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Forensic examinations of electronic devices from Neafie's residence uncovered more than 1,000 images of child sexual abuse materials.

During a court proceeding before President Judge Michael T. Vough, Neafie pled guilty to one count of child pornography and one count of dissemination of photo or film of child sex acts.

Prosecutors withdrew a total of 998 other counts against Neafie but advised Vough they intend to pursue a Sexual Abuse of Children Enhancement at his sentencing hearing due to Neafie possessing more than 50 images of child sexual abuse materials.

Vough scheduled Neafie to be sentenced March 7. Neafie remains jailed at the county correctional facility as Vough revoked his bail.