INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A former track and soccer coach for Cathedral High School was arrested last month on child seduction charges.
Curtis Steger, 24, faces five counts of child seduction. Jail records show he was arrested on Dec. 11 and released on Dec. 13.
The investigation started on Dec. 7 when police were contacted about sexual contact between a minor and a coach, according to court documents.
Investigators spoke with the teen, who said during the 2018 track season she talked with Steger about problems she was having with her then-boyfriend. She said she found him easy to talk to.
After the season ended, Steger began following her on social media, including Snapchat. Eventually they were using the platform to talk daily.
The teen said Steger would flirt with her and they admitted romantic feeling for each other. She went to his house five or six times, and they had escalating sexual encounters.
In November, she called off the relationship and told Steger to stop contacting her.
During a school retreat, he wrote a letter for each of the athletes he coached. The teen’s letter was eight paragraphs long and the first letter of each paragraph spelled “I love you.”
At least one male student confronted Steger about the relationship at some point, court documents show. He asked the teen if he was going to get in trouble and she said she’d deleted their conversations. Police were able to recover some data from the phone, including a voicemail left for the teen, which said in part, “I miss you and I love you.”
Search warrants were served on Dec. 10 and Steger was found at his home. Police asked him about the relationship, but he declined to answer. He did admit that it was possible he told the teen he loves her.
Several letters or entries addressed to the teen were found in his journal.
“A common thread in each entry is Steger telling (the teen) that he loves her, misses her and wants to be with her again,” police wrote in court documents.
Cathedral High School issued this statement:
“Cathedral High School severed all ties with the volunteer track/soccer coach as soon as we learned of his arrest. We will continue to work with authorities throughout the investigation.”
Just this past July, a Carmel volunteer assistant swim coach was charged after recording himself having sex with one of his players. Licensing for coaches and volunteers falls to the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) or in certain situations the local level. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is pushing for new legislation against any coach who is convicted of certain felonies, including sex with a minor.
“If there’s a teacher, that is also a coach, [who was] to lose their license, [the legislation] would require IHSAA to also revoke their credentials for coaching,” IDOE Press Secretary Adam Baker said.
In addition to teacher-coaches, anyone who is a referee or only a coach would fall under the same rules. With the legislature not in place, there can be loopholes.
“What happens is they may still be able to coach, whether it’s in a different situation or a different community,” Baker said, “There was an educator who had lost their license, and they were able to, because they didn’t lose their coaching credential. They were ostracized from their community, no longer taught at their school, but they were able to move to another community and coach a league.”