In Briefs: Fugitive Pennsylvania Swim Coach Surrenders in Louisiana

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 0

October 01st, 2011 Industry

Ray Novak, a former assistant swimming coach at Upper Burrell High School in Western Pennsylvania, has turned himself in to police in Acadia Parish, Louisiana.

Novak was first accused of having sex with a 15-year old swimmer in 2009, but has been free on $30,000 bond since that time. He missed his trial on Monday in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and since then has been considered as a fugitive.

The Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said that he will be tacking charges for failure to appear and flight to avoid apprehension onto Novak’s charges, which will be added on to his original charges that include involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, criminal use of a telephone, indecent assault and corruption of minors. Those charges could net him up to 30 years in prison.

“Typically, we introduce evidence of flight as a consciousness as guilt,” Peck would go on to tell the Pittsburgh Tribune.

The sexual encounters are said to have happened once at the swimmer’s home, before he drove her to swim practice, and once on the pool deck at the high school.

It’s almost unfathomable that a coach would be left alone with a swimmer at her home, and even more mind-blowing is the fact that this could happen on a pool deck. This is a harsh reminder to parents as to the importance of knowing where your children are at and never allowing them to be in a one-on-one situation with a coach, no matter how trusted.

The above picture is from Pittsburgh’s WTAE TV, and is the best picture available at the moment.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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