A group of disturbing claims of sexual harassment against a high school wrestling coach may not go before trial as the attorney for the coach and his counterpart in the district announced that they are seeking a plea deal.
At stake is the punishment and presumed guilt of David Murphy, the former Herscher High wrestling coach who stands accused of nine felony counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse and Aggravated Battery against six female students who accompanied Murphy to an overnight wrestling tournament. As reported by Illinois TV news network WSPY and the Chicago Tribune, Murphy has been accused of an incident during a wrestling team trip for which the team stayed overnight in a hotel in Yorkville, Ill.
Here’s how WSPY described the accusations against Murphy:
He was allegedly drunk with he sexually assaulted the six students, both at the motel and on the bus traveling from Yorkville to Plano for the wrestling tournament on December 12th.
Court documents state that Murphy allegedly improperly touched the female students’ breasts and pulled their pants down to expose their underwear.
Murphy is also accused of providing alcohol to the Herscher students, who were statisticians for the Herscher High School wrestling team.
It’s worth noting that Murphy’s attorneys have emphasized his military service in Iraq, where he fought with the Marines. He also allegedly suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism since he returned from Iraq, conditions which the negotiating parties may have agreed contributed to his delinquent actions with the team statisticians.
Murphy has since left his role as both coach and teacher at Herscher, though some may question whether he should have been deemed fit to serve in those roles in the first place.