RAMAPO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A local gymnastics coach is facing sex charges involving children under age 13.
Some of the accusations date back almost 20 years.
Police said they’ve identified five alleged victims, and there may be more, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Thursday.
Police in the Rockland County town of Ramapo first got wind of the allegations six weeks ago. A former gymnast coached by 67-year-old Joseph Lewin came forward to accuse him of sex abuse.
“He had operated as a gymnastics coach, possibly in some group instruction, and possibly as a one-on-one instructor,” Ramapo Police Lt. Michael Colbath said.
Police said after the initial complaint investigators found four more alleged victims who claim they were inappropriately touched at two facilities Lewin used to operate. One, Joe’s Gym, was located in a Hillburn industrial park, and “The Gym,” which was formerly housed on Suffern Place in Suffern.
The allegations date between 2001 and 2014.
Ron Resnick was Lewin’s landlord in Suffern, where Lewin coached gymnastics and tumbling and hosted birthday parties.
“I’m in shock. Joe worked a lot of young parties, a lot of young children,” Resnick said. “Usually Joe, very young children, that 5-to-11-year program.”
When asked if there was ever a whiff of trouble involving Lewin, Resnick said, “Not that I heard of.”
More recently, Lewin has been working in Stony Point at the Mania Training Facility. His bio listed him as “tumbling director.”
CBS2’s Aiello spoke with the owner on the phone. She told him she is shocked and disgusted by the charges. She said she’s known Lewin for years and he has a good reputation. He has been associated with multiple gymnastics — tumbling — and cheerleading programs in New York and New Jersey.
“Our department does everything we can to be as sensitive and cautious proceeding through these cases as possible,” Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel said.
Weidel said investigators are looking into the possibility of additional victims, CBS2’s Aiello reported.
Police said Lewin is also known as “Joseph Lewandoski.” He’s free on $10,000 bond.