Schaumburg gymnastics coach accused of molestation

A suburban gymnastics coach is facing felony charges in Georgia alleging she sexually abused two developmentally disabled athletes while attending a competition north of Atlanta.

Patricia Hermann, 48, of Schaumburg has been charged by Cobb County authorities with three counts of sexual battery of a minor and a single count of aggravated sexual battery stemming from accusations that surfaced in May.

Cobb County Sheriff's Sgt. Dana Pierce said the offenses occurred between April 30 and May 3, when Hermann and members of the Elite Stars gymnastics team were staying at a Kennesaw, Georgia, hotel while taking part in a competition.

"When they returned home, the two female athletes separately told their parents that the head coach of Elite Stars, Patricia Hermann, physically and sexually abused them in a hotel room during the trip," Pierce said Monday.

Hermann is in custody in Cook County Jail.

A warrant issued Oct. 22 states that during interviews at the DuPage County Child Advocacy Center, the girls - ages 13 and 10 - described Hermann making physical contact with intimate parts of their bodies. Each claim was corroborated by another minor who was staying in the same room, according to the warrant.

According to her biography on the Elite Stars website, Hermann has 25 years of special needs program design and gymnastics coaching experience, and has coached five Special Olympics world champions and 15 national champions. The biography states that she founded Elite Stars in 2003. Besides gymnastics, Elite Stars also runs competitive dance, cheerleading and figure skating programs out of facilities in Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect and Roselle, its website states.

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