Police: Peters youth swim coach believed teen had the soul of his dead girlfriend
A Peters swim instructor told police he sent months worth of explicit text messages to a teen because he believed she was “inhabited by the soul” of a dead, former girlfriend, according to charges filed against the man.
Township police began investigating Robert Neal Keller, 44, earlier this month after officers were made aware of inappropriate communication and behavior between Keller and several teen girls, according to the criminal complaint.
Police said that Keller, a swim instructor at Goldfish Swim School, was overheard commenting as three teens walked to the showers that showering with them was his fantasy, according to the complaint. The three teens were employees, officials said.
Officials from Goldfish Swim Schools said Keller was fired as as soon as they became aware of the allegations.
“It is important to note we do not condone this type of behavior at Goldfish Swim School and have policies in place, including background checks for new employees, to ensure we are taking all necessary precautions to not hire people with previous infractions,” Christine Palmer, regional manager, said in a statement. “We want to reassure our students, members and employees that this was an isolated incident.”
Investigators believe Keller focused on one 16-year-old girl in particular. Police said that Keller arrived unannounced at the police station April 10 and offered up an interview in which he admitted to inappropriate and sexual conversations with the girl.
”He expressed an infatuation with (the victim) where he believed she was inhabited by the soul of a deceased, former girlfriend,” police wrote in the complaint.
He invited the girl to his house several times, offering to let her spend the night, according to the complaint. He told her to leave her phone elsewhere so her mother could not track her location and offered her excuses she could use as a cover.
He also gave her alcohol, tried to help her get a tattoo without parental permission and researched how she could be emancipated from her parents, police said.
“All the while, Keller’s communications with (her) were littered with comments of a sexual nature,” police wrote.
Keller allegedly invited a second 16-year-old girl to his home, according to the criminal complaint. Police said she accepted. He gave her alcohol, and police allegedly found inappropriate communications he sent to her as well.
Police said Keller invited a third girl, this one 17, but she refused, according to the complaint. Investigators found Keller had texted her “unwanted and lewd” comments.
Keller is charged with interfering with the custody of a child, corruption of minors, harassment and furnishing alcohol to minors.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .