Former HS Conditioning Coach To Stand Trial

BETHEL PARK (KDKA) — A former high school strength and conditioning coach will stand trial on charges he had a sexual relationship with a teenage student.

Brian Dankert, 27, is facing eight different charges. He allegedly took naked photos of himself and sent them to a 17-year-old girl. He’s also accused of having a sexual relationship with her.

“I’m not defending what happened here – don’t get me wrong – there’s no way a 27-year-old should be communicating in this manner with a 17-year-old,” Patrick Thomassey, the suspect’s defense attorney, said. “But, you know how it is today with these kids here – 17 going on 27.”

Police say Dankert was hired to coach the teenager as a member of the Bethel Park High School Softball Team. Police say they became Facebook friends and the relationship developed from there.

“She’s 17, he’s 27. Things start back and forth and pretty soon people say and do things that they shouldn’t do,” Thomassey said.

Thomassey adds this is the danger of social media for anyone.

“Comments, pictures, I mean, most of us wouldn’t go up and show this kind of picture to a kid, but on the internet it’s real easy, just send,” he said.

The photos were discovered on the 17-year-old girl’s cell phone by her mother who contacted police.

Dankert waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He’s scheduled to return to court in September.

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One Comment

  1. George K. says:

    This incident will probably destroy his career and life in general. There is no denying that it was a stupid act on his part and I’m certainly not condoning his actions but sometimes there are other solutions. The attorney stopped short of saying the girl was probably promiscuous and certainly didn’t avoid his advances. I just think her parents should have intervened and gave him an ultimatum first. It’s frustrating that the law wants to try 11 and 12 year olds as adults but still consider a sexually active 17 year old as underage. Go figure.

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