A former Northeastern College track-and-field coach was arrested in reference to a scheme to trick feminine athletes into sending him nude or seminude photographs, federal prosecutors introduced on Wednesday.
The previous coach, Steve Waithe, 28, of Chicago, was charged with one depend of cyberstalking and one depend of wire fraud, the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement.
From October 2018 to February 2019, Mr. Waithe labored as a track-and-field coach at Northeastern College in Boston, in response to the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace. Throughout that point, prosecutors mentioned, he requested to make use of feminine athletes’ cellphones “below the pretense of filming their type at follow and at meets,” in response to the assertion. At instances, he was noticed “scrolling by” the telephones whereas holding the gadgets as if he have been recording video, the grievance mentioned.
Starting in February 2020, Mr. Waithe orchestrated a scheme to trick feminine athletes into sending him nude or seminude photographs of themselves, prosecutors mentioned.
Mr. Waithe contacted the victims by social media accounts and claimed that he had discovered compromising photographs of them on-line and supplied to “assist” them get the photographs faraway from the web, the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace mentioned.
Whereas utilizing assorted pseudonyms, together with variations on “Privateness Protector,” “Katie Janovich” and “Anon,” Mr. Waithe requested the photographs from the scholars, ostensibly to conduct “reverse picture searches,” in response to the assertion.
From not less than June 2020 by October 2020, Mr. Waithe cyberstalked not less than one athlete at Northeastern through messages on social media, an anonymized telephone quantity and an intrusion into her Snapchat account, prosecutors mentioned.
In line with the assertion, the investigation revealed that Mr. Waithe’s web browser historical past included searches for data on the best way to hack Snapchat accounts and visits to web sites with titles like, “Can anybody hint my faux Instagram account again to me?”
Mr. Waithe additionally reached out to victims below the premise of “athlete analysis” or “physique improvement examine,” prosecutors mentioned.
Figuring out himself as “Katie Janovich” or “Kathryn Svoboda,” he emailed potential victims and described a phony examine for athletes “and requested data regarding top, weight and weight loss program habits,” in response to the assertion.
The emails, prosecutors mentioned, additionally requested the ladies to ship photographs of themselves in a “uniform or bathing swimsuit to point out as a lot pores and skin as doable” and advised that the pictures wouldn’t be shared or saved.
The emails included attachments of pattern nude and seminude photographs of “Katie” to exhibit what kinds of photos the victims ought to ship, court docket paperwork mentioned.
Investigators mentioned that they had recognized greater than 10 victims of the so-called physique improvement examine ruse and over 300 associated nude and seminude photographs in Mr. Waithe’s electronic mail accounts.
Mr. Waithe was fired from Northeastern College in February 2019 “on account of a college investigation into his inappropriate conduct towards feminine student-athletes,” Renata Nyul, a spokeswoman for the college, mentioned in an announcement.
“Impacted college students have been supplied with assets for counseling and holistic help for his or her well-being,” she mentioned, including that the college police labored with federal legislation enforcement within the case.
Mr. Waithe beforehand labored as a track-and-field coach at different tutorial establishments, together with Penn State, Illinois Institute of Know-how, College of Tennessee and Concordia College Chicago, in response to the charging paperwork.
Calls to telephone numbers related to Mr. Waithe’s title weren’t instantly returned on Wednesday. It was not instantly clear whether or not he had a lawyer.
The cyberstalking cost supplies for a sentence of as much as 5 years in jail, three years of supervised launch and a high-quality of $250,000, in response to the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace.
The wire fraud cost supplies for a sentence of as much as 20 years in jail, three years of supervised launch and a high-quality of $250,000, the workplace mentioned.