Santee gymnastics coach sentenced for sexual relationship with 15-year-old girl
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A man who had sex with a 15-year-old girl who took gymnastics at the Santee club where he coached was sentenced Wednesday to a year in jail and placed on three years probation.
Patrick Wehrung, 25, must register as a sex offender for life, said Superior Court Judge Daniel Link. The judge also issued a protective order preventing Wehrung from having any contact with the now-16-year-old victim during the three years he’s on probation.
"If you dare to contact her, you will go to prison," the judge said. "This relationship’s done."
Link told Wehrung that the victim will forever be reminded that her first sexual experience was with him, an adult male.
"That really wreaks havoc on a young mind," the judge told the defendant.
Wehrung, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts, including statutory rape and oral copulation, could had been sentenced to up to five years and four months in prison. In a letter to the court, the victim’s mother asked that Wehrung be kept in custody for as long as possible.
After his arrest, Wehrung violated a restraining order by posting messages online saying that he wanted the relationship with the victim to continue, the judge said. He was charged in February with having sex with the girl four times at La Jolla Shores Beach between December and January. She told investigators that Wehrung picked her up at her home on several occasions and took her to the beach, where the crimes occurred.
Deputy District Attorney Nicole Roth said Wehrung was a coach at Champion Gymnastics & Cheer on Prospect Avenue, where the victim took gymnastics, but he was not her direct coach. Roth called the sexual relationship between the two "inappropriate and illegal."
The girl admitted having a sexual relationship with the defendant when her parents confronted her, according to San Diego police Lt. Sandra Albrektsen. The owner of the business fired Wehrung upon learning of the accusations against him, police said.