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Published: Friday, 5/18/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Genoa coach accused of sex with girl student

Joseph Bergman Jr., Genoa High School assistant wrestling coach, accused of having a sexual relationship with a juvenile student. Joseph Bergman Jr., Genoa High School assistant wrestling coach, accused of having a sexual relationship with a juvenile student.

A Genoa High School assistant wrestling coach is being held in a Missouri jail accused of having a sexual relationship with a juvenile female student, officials said.

Joseph T. Bergman, Jr., 28, of Genoa was indicted Wednesday by a Wood County grand jury, charged with one count of sexual battery. Police said the alleged incident happened in Perrysburg. He is not a teacher at the school.

Mike Gilmore, Perrysburg deputy police chief, said Mr. Bergman was arrested Thursday in Missouri by U.S. marshals. Wood County Common Pleas Court records list the suspect's address there at the Fort Leonard Wood Army base.

An Army spokesman did not return a call for comment; subsequent calls were met with a message that the voice mailbox was full.

Police said the initial report was made May 7 to the Ottawa County Department of Jobs and Family Services. The next day, during an investigation by the county sheriff's office, it was determined the alleged incident occurred in Perrysburg.

Deputy Chief Gilmore could not say why the alleged incident occurred there. He also did not know a time frame for when the "relationship" reportedly happened, or who contacted Jobs and Family Services.

It is unknown how old the girl is, only that she is a high school student at Genoa.

On May 9, Genoa Superintendent Dennis Mock sent a memo to staff advising them of the police investigation. The memo does not name the suspect, saying only that "the investigation concerns an allegedly inappropriate relationship between a member of our nonteaching staff and a high school student.

"The district has committed to the student and the student's family that we will provide the student all needed support. The staff member is not on campus and will not have contact with any of our students pending the investigation."

The memo also says both Ottawa County sheriff's deputies and Perrysburg police were at the high school May 8 interviewing people as part of the investigation.

School officials did not return a call seeking details on Mr. Bergman's employment status with the district.

Police do not know if there are any other victims.

Circumstances surrounding Mr. Bergman's extradition are pending.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at: tdungjen@theblade.com, 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @tdungjen_Blade.

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