Former Genoa coach pleads not guilty to sexual battery

Former Genoa wrestling coach Joseph Bergman.
Former Genoa wrestling coach Joseph Bergman.
Bergman entered a plea of not guilty to one count of sexual battery June 5.
Bergman entered a plea of not guilty to one count of sexual battery June 5.

BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) - Former Genoa High School assistant wrestling coach Joseph Bergman Jr. pled not guilty to one count of sexual battery Tuesday morning in Wood County Court of Common Pleas.

Bergman, 28, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female Genoa High School student.

According to Perrysburg Police, an officer patrolling Levis Commons caught Bergman in a compromising position with the girl inside his vehicle, which was parked there.

"We did some investigation, actually talked to the victim and some witnesses and were able to put a case together," said Deputy Chief Mike Gilmore of the Perrysburg Police Department.

Following the investigation, Bergman was indicted on one count of sexual battery, a felony of the third degree. As a result of the indictment, Bergman was arrested in Pulaski County Missouri where he was training on an Army base. He was then extradited to Wood County over the weekend.

If found guilty, the former coach and current Army reservist, could face one to five years in jail.

After pleading not guilty Tuesday morning, Bergman was released on his own recognizance. The judge is allowing him to stay with family in Genoa instead of sitting behind bars in Wood County.

However, Bergman has a lot of restrictions he needs to follow. As a condition of his release, Bergman was ordered not to have any contact with the alleged victim, her family or friends. He was also required to surrender his passport to the court.

Bergman will be back in court for a hearing in July.

Officials with the school system say Bergman is not currently a district employee and will not be allowed on school property, or to have contact with students while the case is ongoing.

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