An assistant football coach at Ferris High School was arrested early Friday morning under suspicion of child rape.
Charles J. Eglet, 29, faces two counts of third-degree child rape, third-degree child molestation and communicating with a child for immoral purposes. He was booked into Spokane County Jail at about 1 a.m. after being taken into custody at Northern Quest Resort and Casino in Airway Heights by Washington State Patrol troopers. A judge set his bond at $250,000 and ordered him to not have contact with the victim, other children and to stay in Spokane County.
According to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, Eglet was an assistant football coach at Ferris this year and last year. The American Legion Baseball organization also listed Eglet as a team manager for the Ferris ballclub.
Brian Coddington, Spokane Public Schools spokesman, said in a written statement that Eglet was not a teacher and had “limited supervised duties related to the football program.” He said the district was made aware of the arrest Friday morning.
“The allegations are very serious, and he has been placed on paid administrative leave while the district works with law enforcement to gather more information,” Coddington wrote. “This is an ongoing investigation in its very early stages.”
He said later, via phone, that Eglet has worked at the school since 2014, coaching boys basketball, baseball and football.
Sgt. Dan McDonald with the Washington State Patrol, who led the investigation, said Eglet was using the mobile phone application Snapchat to solicit underage girls by finding them through the app’s geolocation feature.
Earlier this year, McDonald said, Eglet began messaging a 15-year-old girl in Moses Lake while pretending to be one of her peers. Then in June, the girl made a trip to the casino in Airway Heights, when McDonald said the defendant began “aggressively messaging her,” asking her to meet with him.
McDonald said the girl eventually agreed to see Eglet in the lobby and was “frightened when he wasn’t who he portrayed himself to be.”
“She tried to get away,” he said. “He wouldn’t let her get away.”
McDonald said Eglet brought the girl to his parked car in the hotel’s parking garage, where he forced her to have sex. After the incident, he said, she contacted authorities and allowed McDonald to pose as her online.
On Thursday, McDonald said he convinced Eglet the girl was going to be back in the Airway Heights hotel, which is when he was arrested without incident.
Before he was transported to jail, McDonald said Eglet confessed to the alleged crime.
“She gave an account of what happened, he gave an account of what happened and they were very similar,” he said. “As far as the sex act is concerned, he did admit to it. He admitted to knowing her age.”
McDonald said troopers found further evidence that Eglet was involved in a similar situation in Spokane. In July, a 16-year-old girl reported Eglet was communicating with her and tracking her location via Snapchat. She told authorities he followed her to a park, but her friends stepped in and called the police.
“I’ve got a lot of follow-up to do as far as that is concerned,” McDonald said.
Eglet’s arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 4.
Another Ferris football coach was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior last year, with students saying Jim Sharkey exposed himself to them while grilling hot dogs on a leadership trip in Idaho. Sharkey denied the allegations and charges were not filed against him. The school suspended him, however, and did not renew his contract.
Additional reporting by Rebecca White
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