A former Catawba College soccer coach faces new charges that he had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor more than two decades ago.
Ralph William Wager, 69, of Charlotte, was served warrants Thursday on three felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. He immediately posted a $150,000 bond on the new charges, authorities said.
The new charges date back to incidents that allegedly occurred in 1990. The victim was a boy who was 13 years old at the time, according to the Rowan County Sheriffs Office.
Wager was first arrested about four months ago on suspected child sex crimes. The earlier charges came in July after a man told Rowan County authorities that Wager had inappropriate contact with him during the late 1980s.
At the time, Wager was the head soccer coach at Catawba College in Salisbury. Authorities have said the first accuser, who was between the ages of 9 and 11 at the time of the reported incidents, was participating in another sports program at the college.
Prosecutors have said that the first accusers mom alerted college officials about the alleged abuse. The college officials then reportedly restricted Wagers access to its pool area. A former provost has said he didnt remember any formal allegation of sexual misconduct involving Wager, but recalled that a swim club once made an informal request that Wager not be allowed near the pool when the club met.
In July, Wager was charged with multiple counts of first-degree child sex offense, taking indecent liberties with a child and crimes against nature. He was released from jail in August after posting bond.
At least two other people have leveled accusations against Wager after the initial arrest, including one person who was the son of a Catawba employee.
Further details about the new charges were not available on Thursday, and Wagers defense attorney could not reached for comment.
Wager was a fixture in the Charlotte regions soccer community for many years. He was suspended indefinitely by the N.C. Youth Soccer Association after his July arrest.
He served as Catawbas soccer coach from 1983 until he resigned in 1990. At the time, he cited health and personal reasons for his departure. But prosecutors have said that Wager left the college after being confronted with abuse claims.
Colleges probe ongoing
Investigators havent said whether anyone outside of the college was made aware of any alleged sex crimes at the time. State law requires people to report suspected child abuse or neglect by a parent, guardian, custodian or caregiver, though a coach wouldnt fall under that category.
In July, Catawba College announced it would bring in outside investigators to launch a probe into the abuse claims. That probe is ongoing, officials said this week. They also said the college continues to cooperate with the police investigation.
As I have stated since first learning of the initial charges against Wager, the behavior alleged in this case is intolerable, President Brien Lewis said Thursday in a statement. Catawba College continues to express its concern for those affected by Wagers alleged actions.
Lewis said the college would not comment specifically on any information related to the case to avoid compromising the ongoing law enforcement investigation or Wagers rights to a fair trial.
Earlier this week, Lewis said the colleges probe into the Wager allegations included a look at the schools policies on minors who visit the campus. Additional policies will be implemented during the coming weeks and months, Lewis wrote in a campus newsletter released Monday.
The Rowan County Sheriffs Office asked anyone with additional information for its investigation to call detectives at 704-216-8739. News Researcher Maria David contributed.