Former Fairfield Community High School Cross Country Team Coach Pleads Guilty to Sex Offenses Involving Minors
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on September 17, 2014, Timothy C. Going, 43, formerly of Fairfield, IL, where he worked as the coach for the cross country team, the assistant coach for the track team, and a math teacher at Fairfield Community High School, pled guilty to a four-count Indictment charging him, in Counts 1 through 3, with the Attempted Sexual Exploitation of Minors and, in Count 4, with Possession of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct.
For the three counts of Attempted Sexual Exploitation of Minors, Going faces a term of not less than fifteen years but not more than thirty years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five years to life for each count. For the offense of Possession of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, Going faces a term of not more than ten years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five years to life.
Going’s sentencing is scheduled for January 5, 2015, in East St. Louis, Illinois. Going has been held without bond since his arraignment on July 21, 2014. Court documents revealed that Going’s criminal activities began on May 5, 2014, when a hidden video camera was discovered above a bathroom stall in the girls’ locker room at Fairfield Community High School. The video camera was wired to a black box with an antennae attached to it and a SD card slot in it. The next day, an Illinois State Police (ISP) crime scene investigator collected the camera and black box as evidence and transported them to the ISP’s forensics crime lab in Springfield, Illinois.
An ISP Forensic Technician began a forensic examination of the SanDisk micro SD card (SD card) removed from the black box that was wired to the hidden video camera and discovered several video clips from May 5, 2014, which depicted teenage girls using the bathroom stall or standing or walking next to the bathroom stall in the girls’ locker room in various stages of undress. There were other video clips that had been deleted that showed that the camera had been hidden in different locations in the girls’ locker room, including the changing area, before being placed above the bathroom stall.
The SD card also contained a video clip from May 2, 2014, which captured the placement of the hidden camera in the location in which it was found, by a white male wearing shorts and white ankle socks at approximately 10:28 p.m. that night. A review of the school’s surveillance video showed Going entering the school near that time wearing black shorts, a black hoodie, a gray stocking cap, tennis shoes, and white ankle socks. The school’s surveillance system captured Going later going into the dark gym area, and, at approximately 10:28 p.m., leaving the gym area wearing his white ankle socks and carrying his shoes. The surveillance camera then showed Going exit the school, sit on the stairs to put on his shoes, walk to his truck and drive away.
Additional images recovered from the SD card showed images of members of the girls’ cross country team in various stages of undress as they prepared to and/or finished showering in what appeared to be different hotel bathrooms. Illinois State Police Special Agents spoke with the administration at Fairfield Community High School and learned that Going had taken the cross country team on two overnight trips in 2012 and one overnight trip in 2013 to attend track meets and two regional competitions at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois. Going drove the bus that carried both the cross country team to the meet and regional competitions.
Members of the girls’ 2012 and 2013 cross country teams were interviewed regarding these overnight trips. The interviews revealed that Going had the same routine when he arrived at and left the motel with the cross country team. He would either have the team wait on the bus or in the lobby while he checked them in and took the keys from the hotel clerk. He would then tell the kids to wait so he could check the rooms for any “damage” so that the damage would not be attributed to the students occupying the room, and subsequently charged to the school. After he returned, he would assign rooms to the girls and the boys, and give them the keys to their rooms. Likewise, before checking out of the motel the next day, Going would again have the team either wait in the lobby or on the bus while he would take their keys and tell them that he was going to check the rooms for any “damage” and to make sure all personal belongings had been removed. He would then turn the keys into the motel clerk and they would leave. It was at these times that Going installed and removed the hidden video camera from the bathroom of rooms he specifically assigned to members of the girls’ cross country team.
On May 9, 2014, Going was arrested and charged by the Wayne County State’s Attorney with unauthorized videotaping of students as well as burglary to the school. That same day, a state search warrant was executed at Going’s residence and numerous electronic media devices were seized. These electronic media devices, including, but not limited to, a MSI Generic desktop computer, a HP Pavilion laptop computer, were also submitted to the ISP’s forensics crime lab for forensic examination. During the forensic examinations of the MSI Generic desktop computer and the HP Pavilion laptop computer, a large number of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct were found. The majority of the images had been downloaded via the Internet, and depicted sexual interactions between minors and adults, as well as sexual interactions between minors, and the lascivious display of the genitals of minors.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
The case was investigated by the Illinois State Police, the Fairview Heights Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Springfield Child Exploitation Task Force. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.