YMCA Gym Instructor Facing Aggravated Sexual Battery Charge

  • Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Robert Hardeman
Robert Hardeman

A gym instructor at the Hamilton Family YMCA on Shallowford Road is facing aggravated sexual battery charges.

Robert Hardeman, 53, of 3560 Weathervane Loop, Apison, was arrested after an incident at the gym on Thursday.

Police were called by the father of two girls who were in a gym class along with a female friend and two boys. The father said he was told that Hardeman had inappropriately touched one of his daughters and the friend.

One of the sisters said Hardeman appeared to be constantly looking at their bottoms and breast areas. She said while he was teaching about how to get in a sprint ready position that he touched her sister on the bottom twice.

She said Hardeman said he "would be willing to take you to the track, especially you," referring to the sister that had allegedly been touched.

The sister said she was "getting bad vibes" from the instructor. She said he kept looking down at her breast area and would follow close behind them while they were running and appeared to be looking at their bottoms.

She said when they were in the sprint position that Hardeman placed his hands on her lower back, then lowered his hand to touch her bottom. She said he did that three times. She said he appeared to pay special attention to her during the class and that made her uncomfortable.

The friend said the gym teacher "appeared to be very weird." She said she noticed him paying especial attention to the one sister. She said when they were in the sprint position that Hardeman lowered his hand and touched her bottom.

Hardeman did not answer phone calls, police said.

Hamilton YMCA officials said, "We are aware of an allegation of inappropriate behavior by a YMCA staff person towards three girls in a Youth Fitness Class at our Hamilton Family YMCA. We take this, and any allegation of inappropriate conduct, very seriously. The staff person was promptly suspended from all responsibilities at the YMCA and is not permitted on our premises while the investigation is underway. The YMCA is cooperating fully with local authorities in the investigation of this matter and cannot comment any further at this time. As always, the safety of youth entrusted into our care is our top priority."

Hardeman has been an exceptional education inclusion teacher with the Hamilton County Schools since 2005. He was suspended without pay last Friday, officials said.

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