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Former diving club coach case moves forward

Former Ohio State Diving Club assistant coach Will Bohonyi pleads not guilty to all charges during his arraignment in the Franklin County Common Pleas court Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Credit: Amanda Parrish | Assistant Campus Editor

The case against former Ohio State Diving Club assistant coach William Bohonyi progressed in December with filings to the court from both the defense and prosecution.

While no new hearings were scheduled, December saw a request from the defense to travel out of state, a filing of a bill of particulars and an intention to use evidence.

Bohonyi is being charged with four counts related to inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor — who was a member of the diving club — during his time as an instructor, including three counts of sexual battery and one count of pandering to a minor.

The bill of particulars filed to the court on Dec. 21, which outlines the four charges, lists the times and locations of the offenses leading to the charges and shows that all took place in the Neil Avenue Parking Garage spanning from July 2014 to March 2015. During arraignment, the prosecution noted that the incidents took place in Bohonyi’s car.

The pandering charge, according to the bill of particulars, stems from the recording of one of the sexual encounters.

“The defendant WIlliam Anthony Bohonyi, Jr., did, with knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, create, record, photograph, film, develop, reproduce or publish material that shows a minor participating or engaging in sexual activity…” the document stated.

Bohonyi was accused of coercing the 16-year-old female athlete to engage in sexual acts in July 2014 both on campus and during a competition in Maryland, according to a lawsuit filed July 11 in Indianapolis federal district court, which led to criminal charges being brought by the State of Ohio.

Ohio State was initially listed as a defendant in the lawsuit in Indianapolis, but was dismissed from the case in August.

“We have always maintained that — fully consistent with our core value of protecting the safety and well-being of those we serve in our community — the university handled this matter appropriately,” Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson said in a previous statement.

Also filed by the prosecution on Dec. 21 was a document listing the evidence that they intend to use in the case. The evidence listed included audio interviews, cell phone, iPhone and iPad extractions and a DVD that is listed as protected.

The final filings that took place in December were requests by the defense to allow Bohonyi to travel to Pennsylvania to spend Christmas with family. The request was filed on Dec. 17 and sought permission to leave Ohio on Dec. 21 and return on Dec. 28, traveling with his girlfriend and her children while meeting all other requirements of his bond, such as no unsupervised contact with minors.

The request was granted by Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Holbrook and the bond was modified on Dec. 18 to allow Bohonyi to travel.

“Based upon the written motion of the defendant, and for good cause shown, the court hereby modifies his bond to allow defendant to travel to Pennsylvania, leaving December 22, 2018 and returning no later than 9 p.m. on December 28, 2018,” Holbrook said in his entry approving the modification.

Ohio State conducted an investigation into the allegations made by the diver when it said it first learned of the relationship in August 2014. The investigation concluded that there was not enough evidence to suggest sexual interactions between the two took place, but that there was reason to believe a relationship existed. The report also concluded Bohonyi convinced the diver to lie about the relationship and that he contradicted himself to investigators.

Bohonyi was fired from the university on Aug. 29, 2014.

Johnson had previously said the university notified Franklin County Children’s Services, the Ohio State University Police Division, Maryland law enforcement and USA Diving when it first learned about Bohonyi’s alleged abuse in 2014.

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