Swim coach faces charges

by: ,

Although several serious charges against Lake Oswego swim coach Don King were dropped in Clackamas County Monday, the investigation into alleged sexual abuse of minors is ongoing.

King, 65, was arraigned Monday in Clackamas County Circuit Court on two misdemeanor counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

He was arraigned on felony sex abuse charges in Linn County Court Tuesday.

He was arrested Friday on two first-degree sexual abuse charges and three third-degree charges, stemming from alleged incidents involving a girl younger than 18 in Lake Oswego.

'One should not presume they have heard the last word of what may have happened in Clackamas County,' said Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Regan. 'We have not completed the investigation.'

In Linn County, King was charged with two attempted first-degree sexual abuse charges, four third-degree charges and two first-degree sex abuse charges, which allegedly occurred in Albany.

Regan said the extent of the alleged incidents in Lake Oswego is unknown.

King is owner of King Swimming of Lake Oswego, and was the coach of the Lake Oswego High School swim team.

King Swimming is a private swim club that practiced at Lake Oswego School District's pool. King has also been head coach of the Lake Oswego High School swim team since 2003.

The investigation into the alleged sexual abuse began two weekends ago during a swim meet in Albany, after an off-duty Albany Police Department de-tective who was working as an announcer at a swim meet was tipped off of the alleged sexual abuse.

Police officials said there is videotape of the alleged touching of the male and female minors at the Albany swim meet.

While some of the Clackamas County charges were dropped, Regan said there could be more charges once the investigation is complete.

King has been suspended from the school district, pending outcome of the investigation.

King has been a swim coach for more than 30 years. He was an assistant coach from 1998 to 2001 at Jesuit High School. He also coached at Madison High School, Lewis and Clark College, Wilson High School and Santa Clara Swim Club. He is a 1958 graduate of Sunnyvale High School in California.

In addition to coaching at Lake Oswego High School, he was a lifeguard five days a week and a first-aid instructor at the district pool.

Since the arrest, there has been an outpouring of support by Oswegans who said they or their children have known King for many years and question if the charges are true.

Others have said it's too soon to say if he's innocent or guilty.

Oswegan Keith Friedman said King coached his three children over the years.

'Don's just a great guy,' Friedman said. 'I've never seen anything unusual and I've been completely comfortable having all my children swim with him.'

Friedman's children, Josh and Sarah, swam under King as students at Lake Oswego High School. His other son, Jonathan, continues to swim as a member of King's swim club.

'He's the face of swimming in Lake Oswego,' he said. 'He is interested in helping all swimmers develop into the best young athletes and young people they can be.'