WILKES-BARRE — A high school administrator and coach in Luzerne County is heading to trial, charged with corruption of minors.
After a preliminary hearing in Wilkes-Barre, Stephen Stahl did not want to answer any questions.
The suspended wrestling coach and dean at Coughlin High School in Wilkes-Barre is accused of having sex with a student a decade ago.
The accuser, now 26, testified in court that the first encounter happened in Stahl’s classroom 10 years ago today.
The woman said she was 16 when she had sex with Stahl in a basement classroom, a photography darkroom, in local hotels and inside Stahl’s home in Hunlock Creek.
“Obviously, it’s difficult. They’re serious allegations that are concerning to everybody, especially his family. He’s dealing with them as best they could,” said defense attorney Peter Paul Olszewski.
On the witness stand in front of Stahl and his family, the former student said Stahl gave her gifts including a purse and muffins.
She said she tried to forget the year-long relationship and move on, but she reported the relationship to Wilkes-Barre Police this past New Year’s Eve during her work break.
The woman said she feared her former teacher may have taken advantage of another student.
“That’s what makes it hard for victims to come forward. A lot of times they don’t know who to talk to about it. It’s a hard question to answer,” said Luzerne County A.D.A. Nancy Voili.
A magistrate decided there is enough evidence to send the case against Stahl to trial.
Stahl is free on bail, and the case is expected go to trial later this year.