Former girls gymnastics coach gets 96 years for sex assault


JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — A former suburban Chicago girls gymnastics coach has been sentenced to 96 years in prison for sexually assaulting a teenage gymnast about a decade ago, prosecutors said.

Jose Vilchis, 72, was sentenced Tuesday by a Will County judge after a jury convicted him last year of eight counts of criminal sexual assault, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Will County’s State’s Attorney’s office said Vilchis sexually assaulted a teenage girl in Channahon in 2013 and 2014, when he was a coach at I&M Gymnastics. He was charged in 2018.

During his four-day trial last June, jurors also heard evidence that Vilchis had engaged in sexual crimes against three other teenage girls going back as far as 1997.

Two of the girls gave statements at Vilchis’ sentencing hearing, and one told the court Tuesday that she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by Vilchis in the 1990s while he was her gymnastics coach.

“Jose Vilchis is a reprehensible sexual predator who calculatingly used his position of trust and authority to take advantage of innocent girls,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said in a statement. “He repeatedly preyed upon young gymnasts in private under the guise of being a caring coach.”