Former Bowling Coach Accused of Inappropriate Contact

A former bowling coach from Columbia County is accused of sending inappropriate text and picture messages to a 16-year-old girl on the team.

Police near Bloomsburg charged Michael Nearhoof over the weekend with having inappropriate contact with the student last year.

Nearhoof was a volunteer bowling coach at Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech for six years.  Police said last summer he sent sexually graphic text and picture messages to a 16-year-old girl, and told her it would help him with his bowling game.

Megan Wertman lives in what she calls a quiet neighborhood near Bloomsburg.  She was shocked to find out the married man who lives across the street from her, Michael Nearhoof, is accused of having inappropriate contact with a 16-year-old girl who he coached in bowling.

“It’s pretty disgusting.  I wouldn’t think that.  This is a nice neighborhood.  I would never think that,” said Wertman.

Nearhoof, 47, was a volunteer bowling coach at Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech for six years.  Police said a 16-year-old female student told them Nearhoof sent her sexually graphic text and picture messages from July until August last year.  Police said Nearhoof encouraged the student to send him graphic pictures, saying it would help him with his bowling game.

According to court papers, the student told school officials what was going on in February.  A short time after that, Nearhoof was terminated from his position as volunteer bowling coach.

“It’s terrifying.  I have a little brother who is thinking about going to vo-tech.  Now I’m thinking twice about having him go there,” said neighbor Jessica Collett.

Police said Nearhoof admitted having graphic conversations with the student and said he fantasized about a school girl.

Newswatch 16 went to Nearhoof’s house, but he did not answer the door.

Michael Nearhoof turned himself in over the weekend and posted bail.  He is scheduled to appear back in court on May 11.

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