William Bohonyi, a former Ohio State diving club and USA Diving coach, was sentenced on Monday to four years in prison for sexually abusing an underage student training at the Ohio State University Diving Club facility.
Estee Pryor filed a lawsuit in July 2018 claiming she was sexually abused by the former assistant coach when she was 16 and he was 27. She said he pressured her for sex within weeks of starting at the diving club.
Judge Michael Holbrook said a key factor in the sentencing was a violation of the coach-player relationship, per the Associated Press.
Judge, “The young lady said the magic word, trust. You violated that trust.” SENTENCE: 24 months on each count prison time. @nbc4i— Danielle Grossman (@NBC4Danielle) August 12, 2019
Pryor gives statement at hearing
Pryor gave a statement at the hearing Monday morning to “hold this man accountable,” she said. She told the court room the situation has been a “mess for years” and it negatively affected her Olympic-hopeful diving career. She quit diving after the abuse.
It all started on Snapchat, she said, and escalated within a week.
“He had underage girls and it was a red flag,” she said, according to Grossman. “He’s been protected by the system, protected by people around him.”
“How are you supposed to care about a sport when your coach won’t even care about you or your body. He’s so good at manipulating people.” Estee Pryor, Victim. @nbc4i— Danielle Grossman (@NBC4Danielle) August 12, 2019
Ohio State opened an investigation in August 2014 and found the coach violated the sexual harassment policy. He was fired within the month.
According to a lawsuit filed against USA Diving, he continued to abuse Pryor from September 2014 to March 2015 and even after being placed on the “permanently ineligible list” he was still coaching.
Bohonyi reportedly sent 940 texts to Pryor asking her to not press charges, according to the Associated Press. She asked police in January 2018 to reopen a case and he was indicted for engaging in sexual encounters with her in a campus parking garage.
Bohonyi admits to wrongdoing, hiding it
Bohonyi, now 33, admitted to the charge and apologized to Pryor during the sentencing, though she left the room after reading her statement.
“I know what I did was wrong and that’s why I tried to hide it,” Bohonyi said, via Bennett Haeberle of WBNS-10 TV. “I was raised to know better and because of my selfish narcissistic behavior I’m going to pay for this for the rest of my life.”
He was given two years of prison for each count of sexual battery. He will be listed on the sex offender registry for life, Haeberle reported, and could be granted conditional supervised release after one year.
Bohonyi pleaded guilty to both counts earlier this summer, waiving a trial. His attorney called the relationship inappropriate, illegal and immoral.
The lawsuit filed against Ohio State and USA Diving alleges Bohonyi sexually abused at least one other diver. Those filing the suit claimed USA Diving did not do enough to stop Bohonyi, which Pryor’s attorney explained to NBC’s Megyn Kelly last summer.
The case against the Ohio State Diving Club was dismissed.
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