Raleigh swim coach who competed against Michael Phelps charged with child-sex crimes

Nicholas Walkotten
Nicholas Walkotten CCBI

A youth swim coach who has competed against Michael Phelps was charged by Raleigh police Thursday with five sex offenses involving a child.

Nicholas John Walkotten, 32, of Garner was charged with one felony count of indecent liberties with a child and four counts of statutory sex offense with a child under 15, according to court records.

Investigators think the indecent liberties offense happened between June 1 and Aug. 1, according to the charge in a magistrate’s order issued Thursday.

All four of the statutory sex offense charges list Aug. 1 as the date they happened.

Walkotten was taken into custody Thursday after police searched his home on Seastone Street, Capt. Joe Binns with the Garner Police Department said Thursday night. He was taken to Raleigh police detective offices and then to the Wake County Detention Center, records show.

Raleigh police could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Walkotten’s LinkedIn page states that he has been a senior coach with the Marlins of Raleigh swim team since August 2015. However, he was not listed among the coaches on the team’s website Thursday night, and team officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The LinkedIn page also states that Walkotten worked as an assistant coach and director of competitive swimming with the YMCA of the Triangle from 2009 to 2014.

Swimming World Magazine shows that Walkotten competed in the men’s 100-meter long-course trial for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. Phelps was the best finisher. Walkotten is listed 84th.

The roster shows YMCA of the Triangle (YOTA) listed as Walkotten’s home team.

Walkotten was an assistant coach with the swim team at UNC-Wilmington in 2014-15, according to uncwsports.com.

Walkotten was a senior at the University of South Carolina in 2008 when The State newspaper chronicled his efforts to make the U.S. swim team that would compete at the Olympics later that summer in Beijing, China.

In late June of that year, Walkotten was entered in three events during the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb. He finished 68th in the men’s 100-meter backstroke, 97th in the men’s 100-meter butterfly and opted not to swim in the 200-meter butterfly, according to Metro Swimming.

Walkotten, a native of Michigan, transferred to South Carolina from Indiana University and swam against Phelps at the 2004 Olympic Trials, according to The State. He does appear in Swimming World’s published results for the finals, however.

“(Phelps) is the top seed, but after him I’d say it’s pretty wide open,” Walkotten told the newspaper in 2008.

Walkotten also represented the United States at the 2008 World Championships.

Walkotten was held in lieu of $2 million bail pending a court appearance.

Benjamin Joseph Swain, a Charlotte, North Carolina, tennis coach, pleaded guilty in Macon, Georgia, on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, to molesting a 15-year-old Georgia girl he coached in 2016.