A former tennis coach will serve 25 years in prison after he admitted to recording three minors undressing and showering, federal prosecutors in Charlotte said Tuesday.
Benjamin Swain, 47, pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor on Dec. 9, 2019. Swain used a pen camera to record a 15-year-old and two 14-year-olds while they showered in the bathroom of a hotel room the four were sharing, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police search warrant from 2016.
CMPD seized Swain’s camera, laptop and SIM card from his home on Thornbush Court in south Charlotte, according to the warrant. Swain also told Georgia police that he used the same equipment to record the juveniles, the warrant said. A handwritten letter, Christmas card, 14 CDs and an iPhone also were seized in the search.
Swain was previously sentenced to 12 years in prison for child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes charges. He and a 15-year-old girl fondled one another in Bibb County, Georgia, on June 3, 2016, the warrant said. This case is unrelated to the sexual exploitation charge, and was prosecuted by the Georgia court system, says the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.
During Monday’s hearing, Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. said Swain’s 25-year sentence should deter other coaches and people serving in similar positions from committing similar crimes.
Swain will remain in federal custody until he’s assigned to a federal facility, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He will serve his 12- and 25-year sentences concurrently, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office told the Observer Tuesday.
Because he’s a British citizen, Swain will be subject to deportation proceedings once his sentences have ended. If Swain isn’t deported, or if he returns to the United States, Cogburn has ordered him to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.
Swain is a former professional tennis player with 25 years of experience, according to various websites. He has claimed to have helped more than 40 of his students earn Division I scholarships, the Observer previously reported.
Staff writer Michael Gordon contributed to this story.