Local News

Durham gymnastics coach arrested on indecent liberties charges

Posted February 16, 2021 4:35 p.m. EST
Updated February 17, 2021 11:29 a.m. EST

— The owner of a Durham gymnastics center was indicted Monday on three counts each of indecent liberties with a minor and sexual battery.

The charges against Stephen Maness, who owns Bull City Gymnastics on Neal Road, involve three youths under age 16, according to the indictments and investigators.

Maness, 39, of Chapel Hill, was arrested Tuesday night and was released after posting a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Feb. 22.

Court documents state that one victim said the alleged abuse started in August 2012 and lasted until March 2020, while the other two told investigators the alleged abuse went on from January 2015 to November 2019.

There was no indication in the documents as to whether any of the alleged incidents occurred at the gym.

Stephen Maness, Bull City Gymnastics

Maness couldn't be reached for comment. He wasn't at the gym Tuesday, and when a WRAL News crew went to his home, two vehicles quickly pulled out of the driveway and drove off.

A woman who identified herself as Maness' mother said the charges were "based off of false accusations."

Mike Sparks, who's been Maness' neighbor for seven years, was stunned to learn of the criminal charges against him.

"He’s been nothing but pleasant to me, and I’ve never seen anything that would be in any way alarming," Sparks said. "He seemed fine, nothing that was creepy."

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