CLEVELAND - A father is speaking out to the FOX 8 I TEAM after learning of pages and pages of text messages to his 14-year-old daughter from a 56-year-old man, her school basketball coach.
The girl is a student at Cleveland Central Catholic High School. The Diocese calls him a part-time assistant coach. A Cleveland Police report identifies him as the 9th grade basketball coach.
The school called police last week and told us the coach has been put on administrative leave. A spokesman for the Diocese emailed a statement saying in part, “This activity is in clear violation of diocesan policies and standards which are in place to protect the wellbeing and safety of the youth entrusted to our care. Since the wellbeing of our students is our highest priority, Cleveland Central Catholic does not tolerate activity of this nature.”
The school and police are investigating, but no charges have been filed.
Among the messages to the teen reviewed by the I TEAM from a printout: “Sweetie…”. “…baby.” “Do you wear skirts?” “You are so beautiful.” “Pick another day for dinner.”
The girl’s father said, "I'm not really happy. I'm not really happy with this."
He added, "He's trying to ruin a little girl's life. I'm like, why he got to be asking ‘can I take you out’? To do what?"
The I TEAM left messages at the phone number for the coach listed on the police report. We did not hear back.
One quote we saw in the texts to the teen said, “Are you deleting our texts?”
The girl’s father said he was unaware of the messaging. Then, he said, a friend of his daughter saw the messages and got alarmed. That led to the school and police getting involved.
The father has some advice for parents of kids with phones. He said, “Make sure they see their kids, check their phones."
"He can do it to my daughter, then why he can't do it to other kids?"