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Illinois gymnastics coach accused of sexual abuse in Cobb County

An Illinois gymnastics coach is accused of sexually abusing two developmentally disabled girls at a Cobb County hotel during a competition, according to police.

Patricia Hermann, 48, allegedly shared a hotel room near Town Center Mall with girls, ages 10 and 13, from April 30 through May 3, a Cobb County arrest warrant states. When the gymnastics team returned home, both girls reported the alleged assaults to their parents and then police in Illinois.

"Said juvenile victim stated that this occurred in their hotel room, which was in Cobb County," the warrant states. "Another juvenile athlete who stayed in the same hotel room described seeing Patricia Hermann touch said juvenile victim."

Both girls told investigators they were touched inappropriately, and both girls corroborated the other's story, according to police.

Cobb police charged Herman with aggravated sexual battery and three counts of sexual battery, all felony counts. Hermann was arrested in Illinois and booked into the Cook County jail, where she was being held without bond Tuesday afternoon. She waived extradition and will be returned to Cobb, according to police.

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Hermann founded the Elite Stars gym in suburban Chicago in 2003 and has 25 years of experience working with children with special needs and coaching gymnastics , according to the program's website . She has coached five Special Olympics world champions and 15 national champions.

About the Author

Alexis Stevens covers breaking news for the Enterprise team.

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