Former Arkansas club and high school coach Stephen Duwel has pleaded not guilty to seven felony charges, including allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy, according to ArkansasOnline.com.
Duwel was arrested on the charges back in July, which we covered here.
Duwel was the head coach of the Northwest Arkansas Aquatics swim club, and also served as a volunteer coach with Bentonville High School. He was fired from his club position immediately after the arrest and the school has said that although Duwel, a volunteer, had no official contract with the school, he was told to stop all contact with other coaches and students at the high school.
Duwel allegedly met the 14-year-old boy on an app that required users to be 18 or older. According to ArkansasOnline, the boy initiated contact with Duwel through the app, and the two eventually met at a roller rink followed by Duwel’s house.
Text messages between the two allegedly show the boy admitting that he was in 8th grade and was 14 years old, and Duwel is accused of continuing to contact the boy after those messages.
Duwel now faces seven felony charges, including internet stalking of a child, plus a fourth-degree sexual assault charge, which is a Class A misdemeanor.
The next court hearing will be on September 30th.