Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Teacher-student sex alleged

Suspended Coughlin educator, coach charged

February 10. 2014 11:30PM

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WILKES-BARRE — Stephen Stahl, Coughlin High School dean of students and wrestling coach, was charged Monday with corruption of a minor after a female former student said she had a sexual relationship with him.

City police said the former student reported the alleged inappropriate relationship on Dec. 31, nearly 10 years after she claimed they engaged in sexual intercourse in a classroom closet, a photography dark room and two motels in Plains Township.

Stahl, 47, of Hunlock Township, surrendered with his attorney, Peter Paul Olszewski Jr., at the office of District Judge Rick Cronauer. He was released on $5,000 unsecured bail.

The Wilkes-Barre Area School District on Friday suspended Stahl without pay as a result of the investigation. He was made dean of students at Coughlin on Jan. 2 and has been a wrestling coach at the school for 17 years, with the last seven years as head coach.

Stahl refused to comment after he was arraigned Monday.

According to the criminal complaint:

The former student told police she began attending Coughlin as a freshman in 2002 and did not have any contact with Stahl. During her sophomore year, she said, Stahl began talking to her in the hallways by complementing her appearance. He was not one of her teachers or homeroom teacher.

She stated Stahl began suggesting that she meet him in his basement classroom during eighth period, a time when most of the students would have left the school building. She told police Stahl took her into a classroom closet, where they had sexual intercourse, the complaint says.

Police said the former student reported other sexual encounters in the same closet and a photography darkroom of another teacher’s classroom, according to the complaint.

The former student said Stahl picked her up and took her to two motels in Plains Township for sexual encounters, according to the complaint. He also took the teen to his house on Sobertown Road after picking her up at the Hunlock Creek Post Office, the complaint says.

Police allege Stahl gave her blueberry muffins in school and gifts, including a purse and perfume.

She said she stopped seeing Stahl in 2005, and she reported that Stahl kept trying to get her back, according to the complaint.

Police said she told two friends about the romance, and the they acknowledged she told them about the affair with Stahl.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Feb. 27.

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