Former Gloucester County swimming coach John T. Schwerzler, 40, was one of 46 coaches who received lifetime bans or permanently resigned their membership from USA Swimming, mostly for sexual misconduct.

The list was made public Tuesday by the sports national governing body about 31/2 weeks after its board approved four proposals to deal with claims that numerous coaches - including former national team director Everett Uchiyama - had inappropriate contact with youth swimmers.

Schwerzler could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

In August 2004, Schwerzler was charged with aggravated sexual assault after allegations surfaced about a relationship he had with a girl swimmer under his supervision, Gloucester County authorities said.

He resigned from his position as head coach of the USA Swimming team at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology.

Authorities said at the time that Schwerzler initiated the relationship with the girl in 1998, when she was 13, and the relationship continued until 2003.

Schwerzler was never convicted. He did, however, plead guilty to official misconduct regarding misappropriated money, county authorities said.

In 2006, under the name "Jane Doe," the swimmer filed a civil lawsuit against Schwerzler in U.S. District Court. According to the complaint, the two began having a sexual relationship when she was 13 years old, and sexual intercourse in the summer of 1999 when she was 14.

The relationship continued until 2004, when administrators confronted her about rumors they had heard, the complaint said.

"Schwerzler abused his power . . . by inducing her to have improper sexual relations with him on numerous occasions and in numerous locations, including a number of locations at his place of employment," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also alleged the girl's parents raised concerns with the local school district in 1999 about "something improper" about the relationship between their daughter and Schwerzler and requested officials investigate. They were later told they had nothing to worry about, according to the lawsuit.

Schwerzler denied the allegations, said his attorney at the time, John Eastlack. Eastlack said the civil case was settled, but the terms were not to be disclosed. He declined further comment. According to court records, the civil case was dismissed a year ago.

Bernie Weisenfeld, a spokesman for the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office, said Wednesday that there were problems with evidence in pursuing the sexual assault charges.

During the course of the investigation, authorities discovered that money had been misappropriated, Weisenfeld said. Authorities accepted a plea agreement in August 2008.

Schwerzler agreed to plead guilty to official misconduct related to the money and prosecutors dismissed the sex offenses. State records show Schwerzler was sentenced to four years in prison. He was paroled in March 2009.

Matthew Jefferis, a former Parkland Aquatic Club swim coach from Salisbury Township in Allentown, also received a lifetime ban for a sexual misconduct incident on Aug. 30, 2002.

Contact staff writer Barbara Boyer at 856-779-3838 or bboyer@phillynews.com.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.