Zachary Meints, a volunteer coach for the youth-oriented Boulder Hockey Club, was arrested yesterday on five Internet sexual exploitation of a child counts -- a disturbing development by any measure. But equally troubling for parents of team members is evidence that club officials knew about the allegations for two months longer than they did.
According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Meints, who's 24, has served as a volunteer coach for assorted Boulder Hockey Club squads for the past couple of years, working with skaters between the ages of fifteen and eighteen. Most recently, he tutored players on the fifteen-and-under Rocky Mountain RoughRiders team while working at the Boulder Valley Ice rink in Superior. He was sacked from the coaching gig in late September, but parents and their kids didn't know why.
At this point, assorted documents about the case are under seal. But the Boulder Police Department confirms that accusations against Meints go back as far as September 2009, although cops didn't learn about them until a full two years later. Since then, officers have executed search warrants for his phone and computer records and interviewed thirteen potential witnesses or victims, five of whom were under the age of fifteen when alleged crimes occurred. A BPD spokeswoman suggests that these violations may have included photos, videos or lewd communication of the sort reported by a father of one victim who spoke to 9News under the promise of anonymity. He says Meints reached out via Facebook to make assorted sexual suggestions.
This dad is also unhappy about a memo obtained by 9News showing that six Boulder Hockey Club officials have known about the allegations since at least early October but purposefully chose to keep mum about them.
The club insists it was trying to do the right thing, beginning with the removal of Meints from his coaching job. But at this writing, there's no reference to the arrest or the controversy on the RoughRiders or Boulder Hockey Club Facebook pages, or the main Boulder Hockey Club website. Look below to get a larger look at Meints's booking photo, followed by the 9News report.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Kyle Kvasnicka, Concordia volleyball coach, busted for Internet child luring in Colorado."