Texas gymnastics coach facing child sex abuse charges once ran Houston-area gym

Mike Spiller, 75, turned himself in to authorities in Boerne, Texas on Nov. 18.

Photo of Dan Carson
Mike Spiller, a 75-year-old Texas gymnastics instructor, was booked Tuesday for alleged indency with a child. Spiller stands accused by multiple victims of sexual abuse while training young athletes at multiple Texas gymnastics centers. 

Mike Spiller, a 75-year-old Texas gymnastics instructor, was booked Tuesday for alleged indency with a child. Spiller stands accused by multiple victims of sexual abuse while training young athletes at multiple Texas gymnastics centers. 

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The former part owner of a Houston-area gymnastics facility is facing multiple child sex abuse charges following allegations lodged by an individual formerly under his care.

Editor's note: This story contains descriptions of sexual abuse. 

Mike Spiller, 75, turned himself in to authorities at the Boerne Police Department on November 18 following the issuance of a warrant for his arrest for indecency with a child. During a joint press conference held Tuesday by the Boerne Police Department and Kendall County District Attorney's Office, Boerne Police Chief Steve Perez detailed a timeline of events surrounding Spiller's job history as a gymnastics coach and camp counselor as well as alleged sexual encounters reported by one of his victims.

Perez stated the department received a report concerning a sexual offense involving Spiller dating back to the summer of 2001 or 2002 at a camp where the gymnastics coach worked called "Circus Arts for Kids." Held at the Boerne Gymnastic Center in Boerne, Texas, the alleged incident occurred on bus trips from the center. The victim told police Spiller exposed his genitals to her while driving campers to a local bed and breakfast on two occasions by pointing the vehicle's rearview down toward his groin, Perez stated. The victim said she told Spiller she could see his genitals and asked him to stop to no avail.

Based on the accounts, Boerne PD Detective James Vela obtain an arrest warrant for Spiller, who ultimately turned himself in to the Kendall County Detention Center after contact was made between authorities and his attorney. Spiller posted a $150,000 bond on Tuesday and then was arrested again on a second warrant of indecency with a child after his release. A Kendall County grand jury also returned an indictment against Spiller on a felony charge of indecency with a child on Tuesday, according to a Wednesday morning Facebook statement published by the Boerne Police Department. Spiller has exercised his right to remain silent since being taken into custody, authorities say.

Spiller's second arrest followed shortly on the heels of a damning investigative report published Tuesday by the Houston Chronicle's Danielle Lerner, which details allegations of sexual abuse brought against Spiller by two other victims this year.

The earliest of these accounts, according to Lerner, occurred in 1983 at Rowland's Northwest—a Houston-area gymnastics facility then partially owned and operated by Spiller. Anne Elrod Whitney, now 49, told Lerner that she was 10 years old when Spiller snuggled with her, massaged her thighs and touched her vagina beneath her underwear during a sleepover hosted at the gym.

In May, Whitney reported her encounter with Spiller to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, a nonprofit organization in charge of investigating allegations of sexual abuse in American amateur sports. Per Lerner, she is one of at least two individuals to lodge allegations against Spiller with SafeSport this year, the other being a young, unnamed gymnast whose mother came forward in May accusing the instructor of groping her daughter's buttocks during a training session at the Boerne Gymnastics Center. SafeSport temporarily suspended Spiller on June 13 and issued a "no-contact" directive based on the allegations, according to the organization's disciplinary database.

A career gymnastics coach, counselor and self-described "Texas Games Guru," Spiller has hosted numerous workshops and youth events in the United States, Africa, Central America and the United Kingdom over the past three decades, according to Lerner. 

Spiller was booked Tuesday at 1:53 p.m. CT and is being held on a $100,000 bond, according to Kendall County Sheriff's Office. He is currently being investigated by SafeSport, the Boerne Police Department and Kendall County District Attorney's Office. Those who believe they are a victim of an assault by Spiller that took place in Boerne/Kendall County are asked to contact Vela or Lt. Chris Walk with the Boerne Police Department (830-249-8645).

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