J.R. Oppenheim and Danielle Todesco
October 27, 2016
Authorities arrested a Moriarty High School assistant football coach on sexual abuse charges, according to court records.
An arrest warrant states Damien Hyatt, 24, is charged with 24 counts, including 12 counts of criminal sexual penetration along with a count of sexual exploitation of children. Torrance County Sheriff’s Department deputies opened the investigation into the claims against Hyatt on Sept. 29 and arrested him Wednesday afternoon.
Tom Sullivan, the superintendent for the Moriarty-Edgewood School District, said Hyatt is in his second year at the school. The district placed Hyatt on administrative leave once law enforcement opened the investigation.
Some parents said they haven’t been told anything about this.
“Have not heard any of this until you guys,” one parent, Kelley Jones, told a KOB news crew. “I haven’t heard this at all … I sure would like to know more about it, and I know my student, if he had heard anything, he would have talked to me, too.”
In all, Hyatt faces:
12 counts of criminal sexual penetration, a second-degree felony
One count of sexual exploitation of children (manufacturing), a second-degree felony
Two counts of criminal solicitation to commit criminal sexual penetration, a third-degree felony
One count of attempted sexual exploitation of children (manufacturing), a third-degree felony
One count of attempted criminal sexual penetration, a third-degree felony
One count of criminal sexual contact of a minor, a third-degree felony
One count of bribery of a witness, a third-degree felony
One count of criminal sexual communication with a minor, a fourth-degree felony
Four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a fourth-degree felony
A police report states five female victims, all of them underage, came forward with allegations although two of them accused Hyatt only of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The claims against Hyatt involve blackmail, coercion, and promises of alcohol to extort sex or sexual images from the girls.
In one case, the report states, Hyatt solicited dates from an alleged victim and said he would leave her alone if she sent him photos of herself. According to the criminal complaint, she complied.
In another instance, Hyatt allegedly threatened a girl that he would force her brother to do a physical football activity called “gassers” if she did not provide photos. She complied as well, the report states. He then allegedly demanded sex in exchange for alcohol.
The alleged victims told police photos they communicated with Hyatt and sent explicit photos through the social media application Snapchat, the police report states.
Students who KOB spoke with had only nice things to say about Hyatt until they heard about the charges.
“It’s kind of hard to hear that a coach from Moriarty would do such a thing,” said one student, Harry Larkin. “These are some of the best teachers I’ve ever known.
Hyatt remained in jail Wednesday night on a $150,000 bond, cash or surety.Warning: file_get_contents(): https:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_fopen=0 in /hermes/bosweb26a/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151 Warning: file_get_contents(https://plusone.google.com/_/+1/fastbutton?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cjnotebook.com%2Fhigh-school-coach-facing-multiple-sexual-abuse-charges%2F): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /hermes/bosweb26a/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151