UPDATE: CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Varsity wrestling coaches at Portage High School were arrested on Friday morning after they allegedly solicited pictures of underage girls from minors.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by WTAJ, English teacher, and Varsity Wrestling coach Michael Fox, 33 of Cresson and Assistant Varsity Wrestling coach Bradley Rousell, 31 of Portage reportedly requested male students on the school wrestling team to provide them with nude photos of underage girls.
An investigation into this incident revealed that coaches Fox and Rousell allegedly solicited the photos before the 2018 and 2019 West Mifflin Wrestling Tournament. The coaches would reportedly encourage and pressure wrestlers to obtain pornographic images of specific underage students that included girlfriends, in preparation for the annual tournament.
Current and former varsity wrestlers interviewed by special agents described the alleged conduct as a quote “tradition” that started in 2017 in which wrestlers were to show naked images of female students to Fox, Rousell, and teammates during “mandatory team bonding” that would occur in the coaches hotel room. The coaches were also alleged to have shared their personal sexual experiences and ask the wrestlers about their own.
The images were reportedly supplied to the coaches via an application on the wrestler’s phone. Coaches Fox and Rousell would allegedly scroll through the images and make sexually explicit comments.
Portage Area School District Solicitor Dennis McGlynn says the school dismissed Rousell who was only part-time immediately after hearing the allegations. He also says Fox has been suspended for months with pay in accordance with his contract.
According to McGlynn, the school could make changes to that suspension.
I think a school board meeting Wednesday night will discuss if, in fact, we can now changeDennis McGlynn / Solicitor, Portage Area School District
the suspension to without pay based upon the filing of the charges.
McGlynn also advises parents to keep an eye on their kids.
Watch their use of their electronic devices and even monitor it. Inspect it, you may on occasion be surprised by what you might see there and if you do find something inappropriate, you need to report it to the authorities.Dennis McGlynn
None of the wrestlers will be charged for cooperating with investigators. Both Fox and Rousell are currently in the Allegheny County jail and facing multiple charges of Criminal Solicitation of Child Pornography and Corruption of Minors. Preliminary hearings are pending.
ORIGINAL STORY — A teacher at Portage High School was arrested at his home on Friday morning after he allegedly solicited pictures of underage girls from minors.
According to court documents, English teacher, and Varsity Wrestling coach Michael Fox, 33 of Cresson reportedly requested male students on the school wrestling team to provide him with nude photos of underage girls.
Fox is currently in the Allegheny County jail and faces charges of Criminal Solicitation of Child Pornography and Corruption of Minors.
We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.