Mike Spiller, a Texas gymnastics coach with ties to Houston and Galveston in Southeast Texas and Giddings and Boerne in the Austin and San Antonio areas, is being held in Kendall County jail with a bond of $100,000 after Boerne police secured a warrant for his arrest for child sex abuse.
Law enforcement authorities have said they know of at least 5 victims who claim Spiller abused them, with some of the claims dating back over 20 years. In fact, at least 1 claim against him dates to an event in the Houston area in 1983 (39 years ago) that involved a 10-year-old girl.
Along with Boerne police, the U.S. Center for SafeSport, an independent and congressionally mandated oversight agency with exclusive authority over sexual misconduct allegations in Olympic sports, is also investigating Spiller for sexually abusing children. The agency was established in 2017 following a sex abuse scandal concerning USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar.
SafeSport has issued a no-contact directive and has temporarily suspended Spiller from his USA Gymnastics membership due to the allegations of misconduct. However, its sanctions apply only to programs under U.S. Olympic or Paralympic activities.
Spiller, 74, has reportedly interacted with thousands of children over the years in gymnastics workshops and at summer camps in Texas, as well as in Africa, the United Kingdom and Central America.
Learn what it takes for prosecutors to prove that you’re guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” in Texas.
Because of his far-ranging work history, Boerne police looped in the FBI and the Texas Rangers for its investigation. However, there’s been no indication that Spiller had a criminal history beyond the recent claims made against him.
An earlier arrest in Boerne, near San Antonio, stemmed from a report to Boerne police in October about a sexual offense that allegedly occurred in 2001 or 2002 at a “Circus Arts for Kids” camp at the Boerne Gymnastics Center.
Boerne police and the Kendall County District Attorney’s Office said Spiller was released from jail on a $150,000 bond after that arrest, but he was quickly arrested again on a 2nd warrant for indecency with a child, stemming from a 2nd offense relayed by the same victim.
Two alleged victims were in Houston
Boerne Police Chief Steve Perez says Boerne law officers are aware of the claims of 3 persons who were allegedly assaulted in Boerne and 2 who were allegedly assaulted in Houston when they were 12 or 13 years old.
One of the Boerne claims involved an alleged incident at Boerne Gymnastics Center in April 2022. A mother who’d taken her daughter there for a weekly gymnastics class got a text message from her daughter asking her to come back and pick her up because her gym coach was grabbing her.
The woman immediately returned to the center to get her daughter and confronted the gym coach, identified as “Coach Mike,” who denied that his actions were inappropriate.
Last May, the woman and her daughter filed a complaint with the Boerne Police Department against Spiller, who’d been a volunteer substitute coach at the gym. Reportedly, he is no longer working at the gym.
Kendall County District Attorney Nicole Bishop has urged other persons to come forward with information about sex abuse involving Spiller, regardless of how long ago or where the alleged abuse happened.
“No case is too old,” Bishop said. “It is our top priority to provide a safe, secure and supportive environment for those who may wish to come forward. It takes courage to speak out, and we will honor that courage.”
Learn what you should and should not do if you’re falsely accused of a sex crime in Texas.
Sex crimes involving children are serious
Under Texas law, sex crimes involving children are particularly serious in terms of possible punishments, as well as the legal limits of when a years-old crime can be prosecuted.
As with sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault, the crime of indecency with a child has no statute of limitations under Texas law. That means it doesn’t matter how many years ago the alleged crime occurred—a charge and arrest can still be made.
Indecency with a child is a felony charge in Texas. A conviction can lead to a sentence of as many as 20 years in prison for each count.
What is child sex abuse? How pervasive is it, and who commits such crimes?
Lastly, what is the punishment for child assault in Texas?
Under Texas sex crime laws, if a victim of sexual assault was under 14 years old at the time of the assault, the assault is considered aggravated sexual assault. That is a 1st-degree felony with punishments that include as many as 99 years—or life—in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If a sexual assault victim was under 6 years old at the time of the assault, that offense is deemed “super aggravated.” Punishments include prison sentences ranging from a minimum of 25 years to life in prison with no chance for parole. There’s also a possible $10,000 fine.
Another 1st-degree felony is continuous sexual abuse of a child. It is punishable by as much as life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
In Texas, a person who’s been convicted of sexual assault of a child must also register as a sex offender, perhaps for the remainder of their life, upon release from prison.
Indecency with a child by contact, which doesn’t involve penetration, is a 2nd-degree felony punishable by as many as 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Indecency with a child by exposure is a 3rd-degree felony punishable by as many as 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Everyone has legal rights
With these serious crimes carrying such severe punishments, it’s vital that the legal process ensures the rights of everyone. As even D.A. Bishop has said, Spiller is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Houston’s award-winning criminal defense law firm, the Neal Davis Law Firm, stands ready to help you or a loved one who faces a claim, accusation or charge of a sex crime. Contact us today to arrange a confidential consultation for your sex crime case.