MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sexual assault charges against a high school tennis coach are the latest in a long line of cases were coaches have been accused of having sex with young teens.
Charges were filed Monday against Daniel Hubbard-Wilson, a coach at the all-girls Visitation School in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.
Police say Hubbard-Wilson began a sexual relationship with a girl when she was just 15 years old.
Just last week, another high school coach, Casey Chinn, was accused of luring two 13-year-old girls on social media and then having sex with one of them.
Dr. Mike Troy is the director of behavioral services at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. He says it is common for teens to develop strong feelings for a teacher or a coach.
“Those kinds of thoughts and feelings are not uncommon,” Troy said. “Those aren’t the problem — it’s the adults that are taking advantage of those normal kinds of feelings that an adolescent has.”
He says it is the responsibility of the adult to make sure no boundaries are crossed.
“It’s not the 13 or the 14 or the 15-year-old adolescents’ jobs to manage those feelings and make sure that they’re appropriately directed and expressed,” he said.
Troy says the existence of the Internet and social media gives potential predators constant access to a teen — attention many kids crave.
“It’s in the nature of being an adolescent to think that you’re pretty much different than any other adolescent,” he said. “And when you have an adult that you respect telling you that, that’s a problem.”
Troy says the number one thing teens should be wary of are adults who insist on secrets.
“In any instance where an adult is telling an adolescent to not give information to their parents, to keep a secret, then that should just be a hard and fast signal that there’s something that’s not OK about the situation,” Troy said.
Court documents say the Visitation victim told five of her best friends about the relationship, but expected them to keep the secret.
Dr. Troy suggests talking to teens about what they would do when a friend comes to them expecting them to keep a secret from adults.