A large number of inappropriate video clips discovered on Matt Lindsay’s computer led to the firing of the longtime Bishop Luers football coach, the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese said Wednesday.
None of the videos contained nudity, the diocese said in a written statement, but the clips did feature students and others.
The video clips were found the evening of Sept. 12. The next morning, Lindsay was placed on administrative leave, according to the diocese statement. An internal investigation by diocese and school officials resulted in Lindsay’s termination Sunday.
The diocese also reported the matter to law enforcement, and evidence found last week was turned over to the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, according to the diocese.
We do not know if the actions of Mr. Lindsay constitute a criminal offense, the diocese’s statement said. That is for the police to investigate and for law enforcement officials to evaluate.
According to our judgment (the school and the diocese), the apparent surreptitious taking of video clips of students and other persons of the type taken by Mr. Lindsay constituted a violation of our ethical standards and policies, and thus mandated the immediate dismissal of Mr. Lindsay.
Since Lindsay’s firing, which ended a 33-year career that included nine state titles, speculation about what led to his dismissal was published on Internet message boards and broadcast news sites.
A Fort Wayne police report surfaced from more than a year ago when a parent told officers that Lindsay may have been taking pictures of his daughter at a pool on the city’s northeast side.
According to the report, first reported by Indiana’s NewsCenter, the parent said he approached Lindsay as the football coach and athletic director tried to leave in a vehicle. The parent told police Lindsay appeared nervous and that his hands shook as he appeared to delete photos from his phone.
Officers later spoke with Lindsay who denied taking pictures and showed them his phone, which at the time had no inappropriate photos, according to the report.
In that same police report, though, pool officials – including two board members – told officers there had been several allegations in the past about Lindsay taking inappropriate photographs at the pool.
(A pool official) stated approx. 10 parents have approached her in the past and made allegations against (Lindsay) that he put a camera in his bag and used it to take pictures of young boys and girls in the locker room, the report said.
Pool officials also told police others accused Lindsay of lying in a beach chair around the pool with a camera placed in a bag between his legs. Lindsay always came to the pool alone, pool officials said in the report.
The ages of those supposedly photographed were not specified. No charges were filed in connection with the report.
According to a diocese spokesman, Bishop Luers Principal Mary Keefer and the diocese superintendent were aware of the 2011 report.
Initially, Lindsay told The Journal Gazette he was taking a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. Lindsay could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.
I know that this matter has been subject of much speculation in the media and in the community, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades said in the diocese statement. Because of the concerns of all involved, we have tried to proceed carefully and honestly, though under intense public pressure.
My primary concern is the welfare of our students, the community of Bishop Luers High School, and the integrity of our actions.
Greg Jones of The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.