Rape case against Nashville high school soccer coach widens

June 6, 2013 at 2:20 PM
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NASHVILLE, June 6 (UPI) -- Nashville police have expanded their investigation of a high school soccer coach accused of rape, who authorities said tried to hang himself in his prison cell.

George Henry Laise, 46, was charged Tuesday after police said he had inappropriate sexual contact with a girl, 16, who was recovering from a concussion. The girl is on a travel team coached by Laise, police said.

Laise, the varsity soccer coach at Nashville's Harpeth Hall -- a private college preparatory school for girls with classes from the fifth through 12fth grades -- was charged with two counts of statutory rape involving an authority figure and two counts of rape involving a victim with a mental incapacity, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported Thursday.

Police say they intend to submit information to a Davidson County, Tenn., grand jury about an alleged sexual encounter between Laise and another teenager. After Laise's arrest, three other girls came forward with allegations, the newspaper said.

Laise spent Wednesday night at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after attempting to hang himself in his jail cell, a Davidson County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said.

"He tried to hang himself with a bed sheet. Our medical team acted appropriately, and his prognosis is good," spokeswoman Karla West said.

Ann Teaff, Harpeth Hall head of school, said in a letter to parents Laise was being placed on a leave of absence.

"We have never received accusations of inappropriate behavior by Mr. Laise," the letter said.

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