Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced nine felony charges against a western Michigan junior high school assistant track coach for allegedly using his position of authority to solicit sex from students.
Tyler Groenwald, 20, of Bear Lake is charged with four counts of accosting children for immoral purposes, a four-year felony; four counts of using a computer to commit a crime, a seven-year felony; and one count of distribution/promotion of child sexually abusive materials, a seven-year felony.
At the time of the offenses, Groenwald served as a track coach for Onekama Middle School. He volunteered with the Bear Lake cross-country team as well. Groenwald worked as a paid, at-will employee at Onekama.
In 2013, Manistee County Police received a complaint from a former student-athlete coached by Groenwald. The student alleged Groenwald attempted to solicit sex from him and requested nude pictures via text messages.
A joint investigation by the attorney general, Michigan State Police, and Manistee County Police Department revealed that Groenwald allegedly had “sexted” several other students, some he coached and some he met through their older siblings.
“It took tremendous courage for the students to come forward, and we applaud them for potentially preventing additional children from becoming victims,” Schuette said in a released statement.
Groenwald was released on a $25,000 10% surety bond in Manistee’s 85th District Court. Groenwald is next due in court on March 19, before Judge Thomas N. Brunner in Manistee’s 85th District Court.