On Wednesday, December 5, 2018, former Ohio State diving club coach Will Bohonyi pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from accusations that he had an improper sexual relationship with a female dive team member while she was a teenager.
Bohoyni, who is being represented by Attorney Brad Koffel, pleaded not guilty to three counts of third-degree-felony sexual battery and one second-degree felony count of sexual pandering to a minor during his arraignment in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
Prosecutors allege Bohoyni used his position of authority as a diving club coach to coerce the then 16-year-old female athlete into a sexual relationship in July of 2014, both on and off-campus. Though the age of consent is 16 in Ohio, the prosecution claims the nature of their relationship – with Bohoyni as a coach and person with authority over dive team members – is what made it illegal. The former dive club member, Estee Pryor, also filed a civil lawsuit against Bohoyni, Ohio State, and USA Diving. Ohio State was later dismissed from that case.
In court, Attorney Brad Koffel maintained the consensual relationship Bohoyni had with the female diver was lawful:
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“It’s our position that the nature of the relationship was 100% legal,” Koffel said. “He was not her coach. He had no direct supervision. He couldn’t put her on a team, couldn’t take her off a team, couldn’t discipline her, couldn’t show her particular dives. He was one step removed from being the lifeguard.”
The full arraignment can be viewed on this article from ABC6.