A gymnastics coach is accused of providing money and gifts — including alcohol — to 13- and 14-year-old girls he coached before sexually assaulting them, according to Wisconsin police.
When one of the girls confronted 47-year-old George Deppa about the alleged sexual abuse, which included him kissing them, touching them inappropriately and exposing himself, he responded by saying, “Well, I thought you wanted that,” court records show.
The girls received gifts that included AirPods and Beats headphones, according to the criminal complaint, which quoted one of the girl’s mothers as saying “whatever they want, he just buys them.”
The girls described Deppa as a pedophile who “touched where you don’t want to be touched.”
Deppa, a coach at Twin Ports Gymnastics in Superior, was charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child under 16 and one count of exposing genitals. Following his Wednesday arrest, he has been ordered to stay in jail on a $50,000 cash bail, records show.
Police said they were first notified about Deppa on April 12 when the 14-year-old girl reported she and her 13-year-old friend were being sexually assaulted.
Both girls went on Deppa’s boat last summer and he provided them with alcohol, one of the girls told police, according to the criminal complaint. They also had sleepovers at his home while other gymnastic girls were also there.
The first time the 13-year-old was sexually assaulted by Deppa, according to her testimony, her younger sister was asleep in another room at the home. She said she was scared by Deppa’s advances and woke up her sister at 5 a.m, police said.
On another occasion, she woke up at his home to find Deppa on top of her and making out with her, according to the complaint. She pushed him off and Deppa responded by saying, “I will show you how to do it,” she said in her testimony.
She detailed a separate instance when Deppa allegedly exposed himself in front of both girls.
“He said not to say anything, like he always does,” the girl said, according to police. “He says it every time he does something.”
The 14-year-old girl described a time when she and her friend were at his home, and he began sexually assaulting her while giving her a massage, according to testimony. When she told Deppa to stop, he’s accused of refusing and saying he “liked it.”
The alleged sexual assaults occurred over the course of several months around Superior, a northwest Wisconsin town along Lake Superior.
After her testimony, the 14-year-old said she received a call from Deppa, who revealed a detective called him and he “was not allowed to go to work now,” according to the complaint. Deppa is accused of asking the teen why she told someone about the alleged sexual assaults and making suicidal comments.
When interviewed by police, Deppa said he knew he made someone “uncomfortable,” according to the criminal complaint. When asked why he felt someone was uncomfortable, Deppa is accused of saying, “they asked me to buy them things, and I’d do it. Then I said I can’t do it anymore.”
Twin Ports Gymnastics did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News. The gymnastics center has not publicly commented about the allegations and Deppa’s arrest.
Deppa is due in court for a preliminary hearing May 12.