Rochester, N.Y.—The Webster Police Department is investigating a claim from a man who once lived in the Rochester area that a former Webster swimming and soccer coach molested him in the late 1960s.
According to the Webster School District, Ralph Wager was a swim and soccer coach from 1967 to 1983. He also taught health and physical education at Webster Thomas High School. The district says he left Webster in 1983 to take a position at Catawaba College in Salisbury, N.C.
Wager eventually became the college’s head soccer coach. According to WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C., it was at this time in the 1980s when Wager allegedly sexually abused a boy who was swimming in a pool at the college.
According to the Salisbury Post, the man, now an adult, decided to come forward after learning that Wager was actively involved with children by coaching youth soccer leagues in Charlotte.
At his bond hearing on Wednesday, Rowan County Assistant District Attorney Seth Banks said this alleged victim recorded a confrontation between Wager and himself. Banks says Wager apologized and never denied his alleged actions.
Wager was arrested at his Charlotte home and charged with three counts of first-degree sex offense with a child, three counts of crimes against nature and three counts of felony indecent liberties with a child.
Also at his bond hearing, the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office said there was another man, who used to live in the Rochester area, who came forward claiming he was molested by Wager. According to the ADA, the man said he was a student athlete at the time.
Webster Police confirm that the man has reached out to the department to possibly file a report about sexual abuse that took place in the 1960's. Lieutenant Michael Chiapperini says the department is investigating the allegations and talking to the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office about issues regarding the statute of limitations and the charges that were available in the 1960s.
Generally, when charging someone with a crime, law enforcement and prosecutors must refer to the legal books that were in place at the time the alleged crime was committed.
On Thursday, 13WHAM News spoke to Wager’s defense attorney Darrin Jordan by phone.
Jordan says Wager is a well-respected and well-liked member of the Charlotte community. He also says several parents and former athletes are supporting Wager at this time.
Wager plans to plead not guilty to the charges against him. He is currently in jail in Rowan County on $1 million bond.