Softball coach accused of sex with 14-year-old student
Thu, 27 Jan 2011 21:05:56 GMT —
A long-time, well known, and well-liked local softball coach is accused of having sex with a student.
Fifty-one 51-year-old Mick Gotwalt coached softball at Caro Community Schools for several years.
Now, he's behind bars.
Police say he had an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old for three months.
Inside the Tuscola County Courthouse Wednesday, Gotwalt sat shaking.
He's accused of 12 counts: four 1st degree criminal sexual conducts and eight 2nd degree criminal sexual conducts.
School officials say the parents of the alleged victim came to them in November telling them from July to October of last year the coach sent several personal text messages and had late-night phone conversations with the 14-year-old.
"When we investigated that, we found the allegation was true, and that the coach was therefore in violation of district policy. We gave an opportunity to the coach to explain his point of view and then he chose to resign," says Caro Community Schools Superintendent Bruce Nelson.
New information came out Monday.
That's when the prosecutor issued charges.
"It appeared there were inappropriate things occuring and then the follow-up from that has led us to the unfortunate circumstances that we find ourselves today," says Tuscola Co. Prosecutor Mark Reene.
School officials say the alleged acts happened on school grounds.
For some of those who knew Mick Gotwalt, they say they can't believe the person accused is the person they knew for so long.
Employees at Pat Curtis Chevrolet in Caro are heartbroken.
They say Gotwalt worked there for decades, on and off the last five years because of bladder cancer treatments.
The owner says he feels sorry for Gotwalt's family, the alleged victim, and her family.
He says if the allegations are true he hopes Gotwalt gets the help he needs.
School officials say Gotwalt has been banned from the school property, any school activity, and contact with former students since his resignation.
Since Gotwalt coached for so many years, the prosecutor is asking the public if Gotwalt may have done something else inappropriate to call the Michigan State Police.
He's being held on a million dollar bond.
His next court date is Monday.