Former high-school coach convicted in sexual misconduct case involving student
He was a girl’s soccer, track, and basketball coach at Bethel Tate High School.
CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A former girls high-school athletics coach was found guilty Friday on 10 felonies including unlawful sexual contact with an underage girl and sexual battery.
Chad Wilhoff, 41, was a girls soccer, track, and basketball coach at Bethel Tate High School but never taught there. He was also a deacon at Landmark Church in Batavia.
He was accused of having sex with a student at the school between 2003 and 2008, according to the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office.
Wilhoff was found guilty on all counts in the indictment: one count of gross sexual imposition; three counts of sexual battery; and six counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
All counts are third-degree felonies and each is punishable by a maximum possible penalty of five years in prison for a maximum total possible prison term of 50 years.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 13 before Clermont County Common Pleas Court Judge R. Alan Corbin.
Court documents show Willhoff initiated a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old child when he was 24 and continued to abuse her for several years.
Expert witness testimony from the FBI demonstrated that Willhoff used his position as a deacon and coach to “gain access and maintain control of the child victim.”
Evidence presented during the trial suggested repeated failures to act at the top level of the church and school.
During the period of abuse, according to court records, a Bethel Tate teacher sent a letter to the school principal warning of Wilhoff’s actions, while a church parishioner notified the Landmark pastor when she saw Wilhoff inappropriately touch the victim.
Wilhoff resigned from coaching at Bethel Tate in 2008. His continued involvement at Landmark Church is unclear. A church bulletin listed him as a deacon in February 2019.
He worked as a teacher and athletic director at Miami Valley Christian Academy in Mariemont from 2012-2015.
Wilhoff turned himself into deputies on July 16, 2020.
Two other trials involving two other alleged victims will proceed after his sentencing.
Prosecutors say one of the victims was 14 at the time when Wilhoff was 26 and served as her coach at Bethel Tate. The other victim was a 9-year-old boy when the alleged abuse began, though it’s unclear if that victim was “accessed through the school or church.”
In November 2020, Wilhoff was indicted on one count of rape and five counts of gross sexual imposition. The sheriff’s office said last year the charges stem from alleged offenses that happened with a male victim between 1994 and 1996 when Wilhoff was a juvenile.
In January 2021, Wilhoff was indicted on one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and three counts of sexual battery. The charges stem from an alleged sexual assault that happened between June-October 2007, according to the sheriff’s office.
If found guilty in either of these two cases Wilhoff could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
If you are a victim of abuse or have any information regarding this case or any others pertaining to Willhoff, you are encouraged to contact the Clermont County Sheriff Department at 513-518-8144.
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