SHAWANO, Wis. — A Wisconsin mother’s protective instincts led to the arrest of a traveling basketball coach who sent suggestive text messages to her son, authorities said.
Shawano County deputies arrested the suspect Friday night, Sheriff Adam Bieber said. He was jailed pending formal charges for using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and child enticement.
The sheriff said in a statement that the 23-year-old coach from Portland, Oregon, began texting a 13-year-old Shawano boy who attended his basketball camp Tuesday. He said the coach displayed some “unusual attention” to the boy at the camp but did not give details. The texts that followed at first were about the boy’s athletic talents but gradually turned suggestive, the sheriff said. The mother saw the messages and called the sheriff’s office Thursday.
Deputies took over the conversation with the family’s support. The texts then became sexually explicit and the coach proposed a personal encounter, the sheriff said. Deputies arrested him at the arranged meeting place.
“A vigilant mother identified that a provocative conversation was being held with her son and took the actions necessary to prevent both immediate and perhaps future victimization,” Bieber said.
The department also arrested a second man allegedly involved in sexually explicit communications Friday night. During the investigation of the coach, the sheriff said, deputies were simultaneously chatting with a 27-year-old Shawano man who had been communicating for several days with what he believed to be a 15-year-old girl. That suspect also arranged to meet with what turned out to be investigators, the sheriff said. He was arrested on suspicion of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.
The two arrests came after five other arrests by the northeastern Wisconsin department over the past 21/2 weeks in an ongoing effort to identify adults using the Internet to set up rendezvous with juveniles.