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HS Softball Coach Charged with Sex Crimes Involving Player

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The Philadelphia Inquirer
October 2, 2013 Wednesday
CITY-D Edition
PHILADELPHIA; P-com News; Pg. B04
354 words
Bucks softball coach charged with sex crimes
By Ben Finley; Inquirer Staff Writer

A high school softball coach in Bucks County has been accused of having sex with one of his players.

Eric Romig, 36, of Quakertown, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on several felony charges that stem from his time as a softball coach at Pennridge High School this spring and as a coach of the Sellersville Belles travel team this fall.

The alleged victim, 16, played for both teams. Romig started coaching her when she was 14, police said.

The girl's parents became suspicious Thursday after seeing an increase in text messages in the girl's phone records, prompting them to look through her phone and then call police, authorities said.

"In a 24-hour period they texted 300 times," Bucks County Prosecutor Jennifer Schorn said.

During an interview with Bucks County detectives Monday, the girl said she and Romig began to date in May or June, according to court documents. The girl also said that she and Romig exchanged explicit videos and photos of themselves via text message, police said.

Bucks County detectives interviewed Romig on Tuesday. Authorities said he confessed to several sexual encounters with the girl.

The most serious charge against Romig stems from the videos and photos he exchanged with the girl, which amount to making and possessing child pornography, Schorn said. The second-degree felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

District Judge Charles Baum in Perkasie sent Romig to the Bucks County prison with bail set at $500,000. A woman who answered the phone at his home declined to comment. It was unclear if he had hired a lawyer.

Schorn said detectives worked as quickly as they could to take Romig off the street, ensuring the girl's safety and that of her fellow players. Romig was scheduled to coach a game Tuesday night with the travel team, Schorn said.

Romig was not a staff member at Pennridge, according to Jacqueline Rattigan, the school district's chief executive.

She said he was suspended as coach effective Tuesday while the district and the District Attorney's Office conduct their investigations.

bfinley@phillynews.com

610-313-8118

@Ben_Finley

www.inquirer.com/bucksinq

October 2, 2013

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