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Feds charge local coach with sexual assault in two cases

In early December of last year, Muncie police arrested a man who had allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old girl while he was an assistant volleyball coach at Central High School. The county prosecutors who were supervising the case decided to refer the matter to the U. S. Attorney's office for further investigation and potential prosecution of federal sex offenses. One Delaware County prosecutor also noted that federal laws carry tougher penalties for these crimes than do Indiana's statutes.

The alleged abuser was arrested by federal agents this week and charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Documents filed with the court allege that the suspect had sex with a 15-year-old girl who was a member of the Central High School volleyball team. Federal agents also uncovered evidence of illegal sexual contact between the defendant and another minor female approximately four years ago when she was 15 or 16. Agents allege that they discovered the defendant's behavior with the second juvenile when they forensically scanned his electronic devices and found pictures of her. The defendant was an assistant volleyball coach at Wapahani High School when this incident allegedly occurred.

The affidavits filed by the federal agents described numerous sexual encounters between the defendant and both girls. The affidavits alleged that the suspect used e-mail to send nude pictures of himself to the girls and that he encouraged each of them to respond in kind. Each count of sexual exploitation carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.

Prosecution of sexual abuse of a minor has become a cause celebré among prosecutors. Anyone who has been charged with a sexual offense may also be tried in the court of public opinion. A capable and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney may be necessary to preserve the defendant's reputation and successfully challenge the prosecution's allegations.

Source: The Star Press, "Feds charge local coach, uncover second victim," Douglas Walker, Jan. 25, 2018

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