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Nikki Anton Pike, 28, a climbing coach at a gym in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of eight counts of rape and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
The victim first visited the climbing facility when she was 10. Pike met and then groomed the young female climber at the gym over the course of several years, first starting the abuse when she was 12. Pike took indecent images of the girl and raped her on several occasions in his car.
Pike’s victim reported the incidents in 2018. In October of that year, Pike was arrested. Following a thorough investigation, Pike was convicted this past April by Amersham Crown Court. In addition to his 18-year prison sentence, he was ordered to sign a sex offenders registry for life.
In a victim impact statement, she wrote: “I was silenced by the power Nikki had … I experienced post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of the abuse.”
Pike reportedly kept pictures of the victim “to see a child’s body turn into a woman’s body.”
Prosecutor William Saunders told the court the victim would “tell him everything that she was worried about—he would fix it.”
In a press conference, investigating officer Detective Constable Miranda Moore, of the Bletchley police station, said: “Pike was in a position of trust and he completely and abhorrently abused this position to commit these horrific offenses against a child over a period of time. Throughout this period, Pike used his position to gain sexual gratification and destroy a young girl’s life. …
“I would like to pay tribute and commend the victim in this harrowing case for alerting the police to Pike’s behavior, which has allowed us to bring him to justice and has resulted in this substantial prison sentence.”
This is not the first time this has happened in the climbing community. Michael J. Lyons was a notable case in 2011, when he was convicted for sexually abusing a 14-year-old athlete on the competitive climbing team he coached at the Earth Treks Climbing Center in Columbia, Maryland. Daniel Lloyd Montague, an assistant Earth Treks coach, was also charged with counts of misdemeanor sex offense.
Many others have happened, reported or not. Most gyms now screen coaches through Safesport, an independent nonprofit which houses a national database of banned coaches. Still, parents need to be on the lookout. They can try googling their coach and checking out their social media accounts. Better yet, have open communication with the organizations that the coaches work for, clarify the kinds of background checks employed, and visit the local police department to check sex rap sheets.
Neither the gym where Pike worked nor his experience working as a coach were disclosed. However, I searched Instagram and came across what appears to be Pike’s personal account. The account was private, so I then googled the username to see if he was publicly tagged anywhere. I found an account on The Adult Hub, a “sex contacts” page, that was linked to that Instagram username. The site listed the user as being 28 (same age as Nikki Pike) and living in Totternhoe, U.K., which is a 35 minute drive from Milton Keynes. Although it can’t be confirmed, it seems likely these two Pikes are one and the same. The point is, this search took me two minutes, and it was enough to raise a serious red flag.
The most simple rule for parents to remember is to never leave a coach alone with a child.
ESPN interviewed convicted sex felons that preyed on the atheltes they coached. One fellon wrote: “A coach shouldn’t be picking kids up. A coach shouldn’t be taking kids home. Even if you pick up 20 children, there’s always the one who is the last to go home. And I would make sure that I worked it that way. I would take a certain individual home last. I’d also pick that certain individual up first. So that allows for the time (to abuse them).”
Another convict stated: “The best thing is to always keep me in sight. Never, never give me that trust.”
On the topic, Dr. Janet Rosenzweig wrote in her book The Sex-Wise Parent something that stuck with me. “Never forget that young children are developmentally incapable of protecting themselves from a skilled pedophile.”
Child sexual abuse matters are handled by local and state authorities. If you live in Colorado and suspect someone of being a sex offender, call the tip line at (303) 239-5732.
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