LEXINGTON, N.C. — A Lexington man, who documents show had access to local youth through several church and sports-related activities, has been charged in relation to improper contact with a minor and attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.
Timothy Sean Coogle, 46, of Lexington, has been indicted by the federal grand jury 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.
Court documents show that Coogle served as a youth athletic coach for his children’s athletic teams, is involved in the youth ministry in his church and served as an assistant in his youngest son’s Sunday school class.
FBI Special Agent Tara Cataldo testified that the FBI became aware of Coogle’s contacts with a 13-year-old minor, located at or near Charleston, West Virginia, after the minor’s mother reviewed the minor’s cell phone and notified state police in West Virginia of online conversations between Coogle and the minor.
Cataldo testified that Coogle is a 46-year-old married man with four children, ages 7 to 14. Documents continue to say that Coogle met the minor approximately one year ago, when the minor was visiting family members in North Carolina, who resided just a few houses down from Coogle and his family. Cataldo testified that Coogle’s children often played with the minor during her visits.
Documents detail Cataldo testifying that beginning in May 2017, Coogle began corresponding with the minor in online texts or chats. The conversations included topics such as their favorite sports teams, but also included Coogle commenting on pictures the minor posted on social media, including comments about the minor in a bikini.
Cataldo explained that an undercover FBI agent assumed operation of the minor’s social media account for purposes of interacting with Coogle.
According to Cataldo, Coogle’s messages became more sexual in nature and he requested nude photographs of the minor and made plans to have sexual intercourse with the minor when she returned to North Carolina.
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.
Upon his arrest, and after executing a written waiver of his right to remain silent, Cataldo testified that Coogle admitted that the text and social media messages came from his accounts, that no one else had access to the accounts, that he had requested nude photographs of the minor, that he knew the minor was under the age of consent and believed her to be 15 years old and that he had discussed having sexual intercourse with the minor when she visited North Carolina.
Cataldo testified that Coogle explained that it was easier for him to talk to the minor than women his own age.
Cataldo testified that the information was downloaded by the FBI, but agents were unable to access the information because it was encrypted. Although numerous passwords were stored on the Coogle’s cell phone, he advised he was unable to recall his Apple ID, which was necessary to decrypt the phone.
Cataldo testified that after Coogle’s arrest, he reached out to the family of the minor using a third-party intermediary and requested that they visit him in prison so that he could request forgiveness.
Cataldo testified that following normal procedures, she reached out to the youth organizations which Coogle was involved with to learn if any other suspicious activity had been reported. 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, punishment would require a 10-year statutory mandatory minimum sentence, with up to life imprisonment.