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Former Medford gymnastics coach arrested again on child pornography charges

A former Southern Oregon gymnastics coach and sports photographer who was arrested in 2012 on child-pornography charges in Jackson County for allegedly videotaping girls while they changed clothes was arrested again Monday on a federal warrant stemming from similar charges.

Jeffrey Scott Bettman, 55, of Medford, faces 11 counts of using a minor to produce visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct, and one count each of receiving child pornography and possession of child pornography, according to an indictment filed in the U.S. District Court of Medford in August 2013.

Bettman had been lodged in the Jackson County Jail since April 2013 under the authority of the state until Monday. Oregon Judicial Department records show he was released Monday from the state's custody and immediately arrested on the federal charges and sent back to jail.

"He never left," said Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Terry Smith-Norton, who is prosecuting the case for the state.

She said both the state and the federal government plan to pursue charges against Bettman.

His federal charges pertain to 11 minors he allegedly filmed to produce sexually explicit content between April 23, 2008, and Nov. 2, 2012, the indictment states.

Between 2008 and 2012, Bettman coached gymnastics at Unlimited Sports in Grants Pass, owner Lisa Austin told the Grants Pass Daily Courier in 2012.

He is accused of filming the minors with a Sony video camera obtained through interstate commerce and transferring sexually explicit visual content of the minors using the Internet, the indictment against him states.

Prior to his job in Grants Pass, Bettman coached gymnastics at the Rogue Valley School of Gymnastics and its descendant, the Southern Oregon Gymnastics Academy, where he was fired in 2008 for undisclosed reasons.

In Jackson County Circuit Court, Bettman was indicted in November 2012 on 30 charges: 10 counts of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct and 10 counts each of first- and second-degree encouraging child sex abuse. He allegedly committed the crimes between December 2005 and May 2012, Oregon Judicial Department records show.

Using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct is a Measure 11 crime that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 70 months.

The images related to the Measure 11 charges represent 10 underage victims. Still photographs were created from the videos by Bettman for display in the production of child pornography, a Jackson County prosecutor said in 2013.

Bettman was one of several people targeted in an October 2012 sting operation after police discovered Bettman's Internet Protocol address had downloaded child pornography images.

Once investigators realized Bettman's connection to the gymnastics clubs, he became a primary focus of the task force investigation, officials said.

After obtaining a warrant, police searched his home and identified the presence of what appeared to be child pornography created by Bettman in the form of videos of gymnasts changing, taken without their consent or knowledge, investigators said. The videos were found in several locations at Bettman's residence in the 1800 block of Camp Baker Road just outside of Medford, police said.

Following his initial indictment in Jackson County, Bettman was released from jail the same day after a family member posted the required $25,000 on his $250,000 bail. He was arrested again in April 2013 after being deemed a flight risk, and has been lodged ever since.

According to Bettman's federal detention order, he is to remain in jail until he faces federal trial, which is set for Nov. 12.

Neither of Bettman's lawyers returned phone messages seeking information about the cases, nor did federal prosecutor Judith Harper.

This story has been updated.

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.

Jeffrey Scott Bettman