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UPDATE: Former S.B. Coach Under Arrest For Taking Lewd Photos Of Children

UPDATE: A cloud of suspicion hangs over a former Santa Barbara gymnastics coach accused of lewd behavior with as many as 60 children. Now, the case may be expanding to Santa Barbara.

Police in Medford, Oregon say Jeffrey Bettman secretly videotaped young girls while they undressed. The youngest alleged victims are just seven years old.

54-year-old Bettman has spent decades working with young children. After leaving the Santa Barbara area, he moved to Southern Oregon, where’s he’s spent the last several year’s coaching gymnastics.

Detectives recently began investigating Bettman after they say he had been downloading child pornography. But when they searched his home computer, they claim they found something even more disturbing.

Detectives in Oregon say Bettman had been secretly video taping young girls between the ages of 7 to 15, during professional photo shoots, as the girls changed in a makeshift dressing room. The videos date back to as early as 2003.

Meanwhile, another of Bettman’s former employers, The Southern Oregon Gymnastics Academy, released this statement on its Facebook page, after owners learned of his arrest: “Jeff Bettman was fired from SOGA on April 23, 2008 for reasons that were never disclosed… We cannot speak about the charges against Mr. Bettman and how they pertain to SOGA at this time, per the request of the lead detective.”

Detectives in Oregon are now asking any parents who had professional photo shoots with Bettman over the years to come forward. It’s unknown whether local authorities have been notified about the case. We want to clarify, the Spirals Gymnastics organization is no longer run by U.C.S.B. and officials who now run the non-profit say they have no affiliation with Bettman.


A former Santa Barbara gymnastics coach is facing charges of encouraging child sex abuse and invasion of privacy. KEY News has learned that 54-year-old Jeffrey Bettman was arrested on November 2nd in Medford, Oregon.

The longtime gymnastics coach and sports photographer is under arrest, suspected of secretly photographing students while they were changing clothes during private photo sessions. Police say it may have occurred during a nine-year period at several gymnastics facilities across Southern Oregon.

The Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force is investigating the case, and said the incidents began as early as 2003, and may involve as many as 60 children, between the ages of 7 to 15. The Task Force said it also found child pornography on Bettman’s computer.

KEY News has talked with several sources who say Bettman was the coach of the Spirals Gymnastic Team which trained at UCSB. We’re told Bettman worked for U.C.S.B. with the Spirals Gymnastics School and Competition Teams from the early 1980’s until as recently as 2003. The program is no longer run by U.C.S.B.

There’s no word on whether local law enforcement agencies have been contacted by authorities in Oregon about the case.

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