Clarence soccer trainer charged in child pornography case

Jun 20, 2019

A former trainer of an elite Western New York soccer club was formally charged Thursday with sending and receiving explicit material to a minor.

U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy with F.B.I Agent-In-Charge Gary Loeffert to his left.
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

Charges against Shelby Garigen of Clarence Center include receipt of child pornography and access with intent to view child pornography. She could face a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Authorities say Garigen had used the Snapchat app to send and receive the material.

“In this case Garigen had regular, in person contact with the soccer players she trained,” said FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Gary Loeffert. “Parents need to recognize there is no shortage of predators waiting to exploit your child.”

The complaint states that Garigen and a 17-year-old boy communicated via Snapchat between November 2018 and February 2019. The conversation turned sexual about a week or two after the two began chatting. The boy's parent contacted authorities about the relationship.

Kennedy said the investigation also determined Garigen had "exchanged nude pictures with a second 17-year-old male (Victim 2), who was also associated with the elite soccer team" and there is evidence of a possible third victim.

“While this case is somewhat unusual in that the defendant is a woman, it is familiar in the sense that defendant used two of the most frequent and common methods that child predators use in order to gain access to children," Kennedy said. "The first is the internet and the second is occupying a position of authority and trust in the child’s life. Parents should be coaching their kids on how to defend themselves from these sorts predators.”

Garigen made a court appearance earlier Thursday and was released on the condition she no longer work with any youth sports programs or have contact with minors. Anyone with information related to this case is asked to call the FBI at 843-1616.