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Former Lexington soccer coach and youth ministry leader accused of trying to arrange sex with a minor

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- A Lexington man, who's a former soccer coach and youth ministry leader, is accused of arrangement to have sex with a 13-year-old girl.

A federal grand jury indicted Timothy Sean Coogle, 46, of Lexington, on Sept. 26 for the Southern District of West Virginia on one count of using a cellphone to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice and coerce an individual who had not attained the age of 18 years to engage in sexual activity.

Coogle coached his children's soccer teams with the North Carolina United Soccer Association. A representative with the league said Coogle stopped coaching for them two or three years ago.

As a former soccer coach, youth ministry leader, and Sunday school teacher, court documents show Coogle often had close contact with minors.

He has four kids of his own, ages 7 to 14. That's how FBI Special Agent Tara Cataldo says Coogle met the victim about a year ago.

She was visiting family in Lexington, a few houses down from where Coogle lives, and she played with Coogle's children.

Court documents show Coogle first started talking to the 13-year-old girl over texts and chats in May 2017, when she was home in West Virginia.

They talked about things like their favorite sports teams, but they also talked about pictures the teen would post, including one in her bikini.

When the teen's mom saw those texts, she called police in West Virginia, who notified the FBI.

An undercover FBI agent took over the teen's social media accounts and began to communicate with Coogle. That's when the messages became more sexual.

According to Cataldo, Coogle asked for nude photographs of the minor and made plans to have sex with her when she came back to Lexington.

According to Cataldo, on Sept. 13, Coogle sent a text message to the minor expressing that he had never previously been attracted to someone as young, that she looked older and acted mature, that she was beautiful and sexy and that he wanted to “feel her on him.”

Shortly before Coogle’s arrest, Cataldo testified that Coogle live-streamed a video of himself, alone, his face visible, engaged in a sexual act, which he directed to the minor’s Instagram account.

Coogle was arrested in North Carolina on Oct. 5.

Cataldo claims Coogle then admitted to what he'd done. He allegedly said the texts and social media messages came from his accounts, and that no one else had access to them. He allegedly admitted to requesting nude photos and talked about having sex with her. He also said he knew she was under the age of consent and he thought she was 15 years old.

Cataldo testified that Coogle explained that it was easier for him to talk to the minor than women his own age.

The FBI says Coogle also contacted the minor's family through a third party after his arrest, asking them to visit him in prison so he could "request forgiveness."

Because of the potential safety risk to the minor and the risk that Coogle wouldn't show up in court, he will remain behind bars until the proceedings are over.

Cataldo said following normal procedures, she reached out to the youth organizations Coogle was involved with to learn if any other suspicious activity had occurred.

Cataldo reported receiving a call from a senior minister with Coogle’s church, who advised of a report of an inappropriate touching incident involving a 7-year-old student in Coogle’s Sunday school class. Cataldo testified that she spoke with the parent of the 7-year-old and the FBI will be interviewing the child.

Documents show that the incident involved a claim of Coogle touching the child’s thigh on the outside of the child’s clothing.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center confirmed that Coogle had been employed there, but has been terminated.

A statement from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center reads:

“Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center fully cooperated with law enforcement in their investigation and the employee was terminated immediately once information provided was confirmed by the authorities. The employee was not involved in patient care.”

The case had been filed with the U.S. District Court of North Carolina, and assigned to Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake, but proceedings were transferred to the Southern District of West Virginia, where Coogle has been ordered to appear in court.

Court documents say upon conviction, the punishment would require a 10-year statutory mandatory minimum sentence, with up to life imprisonment.