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Ex-gymnastics coach arraigned on charges of sexually assaulting children as young as 4

Shannon Guay, 49, is now in Kent County after he was first arrested in Florida. All victims were under the age of 13 when the alleged sexual abuse began.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — The Florida man accused of sexually assaulting five young children in three different locations in Kent County is now in the Kent County Jail and was arraigned in court Thursday morning. 

Kent County Sheriff's Office detectives worked with Florida authorities to arrest 49-year-old Shannon Guay at his home in Punta Gorda earlier this month.

He was extradited from Florida to Michigan, and was booked into the Kent County Jail Wednesday, according to online jail records.

The investigation first began in March when a business in Plainfield Township received voicemails claiming that minors had been assaulted at that location or by a previous employee.

"Coach Jake" worked in gymnastics, martial arts and dance studios throughout West Michigan from the 1990s through 2010, the sheriff's office says.

Guay is accused of sexually assaulting five minors in three different locations in Kent County, some of which detectives say occurred at Aerials & Baranis Gymnastics, between the years of 2006 and 2008. Guay worked at the business as a coach during that time.

All of the victims were under the age of 13 when the alleged sexual abuse began, and one victim was as young as 4-years-old, court documents detail.

Guay left Kent County in 2010, but has since lived in California, Texas, Florida and Washington. 

The sheriff's office is reaching out to those other states to see if there are any cases involving Guay there.

"Someone with a little bit of information can talk with someone else and that leads to potential other victims," said Undersheriff Chuck DeWitt. "And it's only through the help of other people knowing about the situation that can assist, not only holding Guay responsible but it's also part of the healing process for those who were in fact victimized."

He is charged with six counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree and seven counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd Degree.

His bond was set at $500,000.

This case remains under investigation. Detectives say there may be others who know information about these incidents. If you have any information, contact the Kent County Sheriff's Office.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, there are resources available. Reach out to the YWCA 24-Hour Confidential Helpline at 616-454-YWCA (616-454-9922) or the Children’s Advocacy Center of Kent Country at 616-336-5160.

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