A former diving coach at Ohio State has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery involving an underage student-athlete.
William Bohonyi, 33, was accused of coercing Estee Pryor to engage in sex acts when she was 16.
“This diving coach used his position to prey upon a minor,” prosecutor Ron O’Brien of Franklin County, Ohio, said.
Bohonyi is the focus of a class-action lawsuit filed by Pryor — who has publicly discussed the case — and other, unnamed divers who claim that USA Diving did not do enough to prevent the coach from forcing athletes to have sex in exchange for participation in the sport.
“We are relieved that the criminal case is over,” said Robert Allard, the plaintiffs’ attorney. “The fact remains that most if not all of the countless sexual assaults and rapes committed by this pedophile would have been prevented if USA Diving, similar to USA Swimming and USA Gymnastics, did not place its own selfish interests of maximizing revenue generation over the safety of children.”
Thursday’s plea comes a week after Ohio State issued a report concluding that the late Richard Strauss, a former athletic department doctor, molested at least 177 male students from 1979 through 1996 and that university officials were alerted to the abuse but took insufficient action. Strauss died by suicide in 2005.
Allegations against Bohonyi came to light in 2014. The university placed him on administrative leave and police launched an investigation.