Walkerville Girls Basketball Coach Arrested for Sex Crimes Against 2 Team Members
“It is a very brave act for them to come forth and be upfront with us, and tell us the truth about what has occurred to them.”
A Walkerville junior varsity girls basketball coach is facing sex crime charges, involving 13-year-old girls.
Deputies arrested the 35-year-old man Monday night.
He is accused of sexually assaulting two girls who played on his basketball team.
The investigation has been going on since March.
The Oceana County Sheriff’s Office says they found evidence in the suspect’s home after searching his digital devices.
It was enough evidence to arrest him Monday night.
“I’m very upset that this sort of thing has happened in our quiet little community. I know there’s a lot of good people around west Michigan, but especially in Walkerville area that are really upset about it, and I am too. And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure the responsible party is held responsible,” Oceana County sheriff Craig Mast said.
The man’s name has not been released because he has not yet been arraigned.
The village of Walkerville is a small community and families who have kids attending this school are shaken up.
“When they are in school they are supposed to be protecting our children. If we can’t rely on our children being protected at schools where we can rely on them being protected if they’re not with their parents,” parent Kandis Chervenak said.
Walkerville School says the former coach does not currently work with Walkerville students. As an additional precaution, school officials have directed him to not be on school property until further notice.
“It’s almost normal now, that’s my reaction. I don’t find it surprising anymore. It’s always happening everywhere, so I’m not really surprised at all. I homeschool because of this,” Sandra Morenci said.
The man is being charged with first and second degree criminal sexual conduct. Two counts of accosting children for immoral purposes and child sexually abusive activity.
“What he got is exactly what he should get. He shouldn’t be allowed to coach, he shouldn’t be allowed to be around children because that’s our future. Our children are our future,” Chervenak said.
“A lot of small areas aren’t looked into as much as the larger city scape areas. You don’t expect it in a small town such as this,” Morenci said.
For the two 13-year-old victims in this case, the community commends their bravery.
“It takes a lot of courage. My son actually went through it so he was kind of scared because he’s so little. It takes a lot of courage for anyone at any age. It doesn’t matter how old you are,” Chervenak said.
The suspect’s bond was set at $100,000.
He posted bond and will be back in court on July 11 for his arraignment.