The varsity girls' basketball coach at Alameda High School was arrested and faces charges of sexual assault involving a female student.
Wesley Specht, 26, was arrested at his Arvada home late Wednesday night. Arvada police has charged him with:
- Sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust with a pattern
- Sexual exploitation of a child
Specht was hired as an assistant coach at the high school in November 2009 and later took over as the coach of the girls' varsity basketball team.
Specht was a contract employee with the Jefferson County School District and is no longer employed by the district. Basketball coaches are on a contract season to season, and his expired at the end of the season, said school district spokeswoman Lynn Setzer.
Arrest Affidavit: Others In School Knew About Relationship
"It was another faculty member that finally decided what they were hearing was probably some type of an inappropriate relationship going on, and came forward," said Lakewood police spokesman Steve Davis.
According to the arrest affidavit, a comment by the principal's secretary led to the police getting involved. A conversation took place between the boys' basketball coach and the athletic director's administrative assistant.
The talk was about how the boys' coach could have held a basketball tournament the previous weekend because Specht's fell through. The principal's secretary remarked, "how she couldn't believe Wesley was still here because he was involved in a relationship with (name redacted)."
An administrative assistant told police that the secretary had seen the student texting with Specht. The assistant also said the secretary told her the student had confided in her that the two were dating and that they were open about it. The affidavit states that the secretary had not previously told an administrator.
The arrest affidavit revealed the student admitted to having sex with Specht at least nine times. She stated they had sex at his Arvada home, in his vehicle at a parking lot in Belmar Park and once at his parents' Highlands Ranch home.
"It makes no difference if it's consensual, it is strictly illegal," said Davis, the Lakewood police spokesman.
The affidavit also revealed that Specht had been specifically warned about texting players on a personal level. The previous basketball coach was let go for texting violations.
Three Alameda High Employees On Paid Leave
Setzer confirmed with 7NEWS that three employees at Alameda High School are on paid administrative leave, "while we conduct our own investigation into what may or may not have happened at the school."
Based on the details of the arrest affidavit, the district is looking into what employees may have known, and if that knowledge should have been reported.
According to the affidavit, the principal's secretary met with the student in October 2010 and advised her to "let go" of the relationship.
When the student was interviewed by police, she stated her sexual relationship with Specht began after that meeting.
According to Setzer, every year, every Jefferson County School District employee is required to sign a professional responsibility document, which clearly states the rules for reporting child abuse or suspected child abuse.
"We take it very seriously to protect our kids," said Setzer.
Colorado's mandatory reporting law
requires certain employees, including school teachers, to report suspected child abuse.
Students Found Out Just Before School Ended
"All the basketball girls started going, 'Oh my gosh. Did you hear about Coach Wes?'" said varsity basketball player and junior Savannah Duran.
"I didn't know until last period," said senior Breanna Montoya.
"Was this known, this relationship between a student and the basketball coach?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger.
"No. I had no clue. I think some of the girls knew," said Montoya.
"No one really knew, and the people who did know kind of just kept to themselves about it because it's not our business," said junior Tiffany Williams. "A lot of girls said he that he was flirty with everyone. I think he was just a really friendly guy."
"You could tell by the way that he talked to some girls, it was kind of weird for an older man," said Duran.
According to Duran, the basketball players found out through people talking in the halls. 7NEWS confirmed with the district that no team meeting was held.
"Be serious about it and hold a meeting with all of us together," said Duran. "To separate rumors from what's true (and) what's not."
Specht Played Competitive Basketball
Specht had the nickname "Wild Man" as a guard with the Colorado Kings basketball team in Aurora. The Kings are part of the American Basketball Association
The team's owner, Durrell Middleton, told 7NEWS he last saw Specht on Tuesday while touring a gymnasium for a basketball tournament.
"We, as an organization, are close to our players. We're really surprised about the allegations," said Middleton.
In a statement posted on the team's website
, Middleton wrote:
"The Colorado Kings have received the news that our player Wesley Specht has been charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a high school student. We also realize the seriousness of this allegation."We have stressed to our professional athletes the importance of maintaining a positive image in our Colorado Community. We consistently remind our players never to be in a room alone with a minor of the opposite sex, and when out in public to always have another adult nearby
."We are shocked by this allegation against Wesley because we know him to be a spiritual man from a strong family who works hard on and off the basketball court. As a high school coach, he dedicated himself to his team."Our contract with Mr. Specht ends in October 2011. He is suspended from playing basketball for our organization pending the outcome of the investigation. However, we are more concerned about Wesley as a person and we will do what we can as an organization to help him and his family through this trying time."
Specht is being held at the Jefferson County Jail and made his first court appearance Thursday morning. His bond is set at $10,000. The District Attorneys Office has until Wednesday to determine the final charges he'll face.
Police ask that anyone who feels they may have information that would assist in the investigation and/or regarding Specht to contact the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office at 303-987-7228.
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