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Former college coach charged in sex abuse

July 31, 2012 at 3:36 PM   |   Comments

SALISBURY, N.C., July 31 (UPI) -- A Rowan County, N.C., grand jury is considering an indictment against a local soccer coach on child sex abuse charges.

Ralph Wager, 69, was charged earlier this month with multiple counts of first-degree child sex offense, taking indecent liberties with a child and crimes against nature, the Charlotte, N.C., Observer reported Tuesday. The incidents allegedly took place between 1987 and 1989, and investigators are attempting to determine if any occurred on the Salisbury, N.C., campus of Catawba College, where Wager was employed in the 1980s.

Wager was arrested in July 2012 after investigators said they began to look into claims he had sexual contact in the 1980s with a boy described as under age 10, the newspaper said.

The Rowan County Sheriff's Office has said Wager and the accuser met on the Catawba campus, where they were involved in another sports activity.

In court last week, prosecutors said the mother of the boy, now an adult, alerted Catawba authorities about the alleged abuse. The college reportedly responded by restricting Wager's access to the swimming pool.

The school says it is working with its own investigators on a probe of the claims. In a statement, Catawba College President Brien Lewis said "We are all determined to investigate these allegations. The College will continue to cooperate with law enforcement."

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