Former wrestling coach Ron Gorman pleaded guilty in a Cobb County, Georgia, court Tuesday to sexually abusing a Pennsylvania boy at his Marietta home.
Gorman pleaded guilty to similar charges in Pennsylvania last year, but charging him in Cobb ensures that he will not be out of prison before his 20-year sentence is complete, said prosecutor Chuck Boring.
"Without those charges here, it would have been much less likely that he would have pleaded guilty in Pennsylvania," Boring said.
Gorman will be extradited back to Pennsylvania to serve out his prison term. He has admitted to molesting two boys from that state, but prosecutors there said there were many more victims who were either not ready to come forward or for whom the statute of limitations had expired.
No charges have been brought against Gorman on behalf of any Georgia victims, despite complaints from two Cobb families that he targeted their sons.
Boring said investigators had interviewed a number of additional suspected victims in Georgia, but none of them disclosed abuse.
“That’s not unexpected in a case of child sexual abuse, especially when you have the stigma of male on male sexual abuse,” Boring said. “We know there are exponentially more victims out there. Hopefully this is a case that shines a light on this problem.”
Gorman moved to Cobb from Pennsylvania in 2009.
He was a volunteer coach for the Pope Junior Wrestling program until he was forced out in 2011 after a parent complained that he sent a sexually charged message to her son.
Despite his removal from the program, Gorman continued to coach for Team Georgia wrestling, the state affiliate of the national Olympic wrestling organization, and he also founded the wrestling program at Life University.
In 2015, a second child came forward and said Gorman had solicited him for sex. A report was filed with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office; however, charges were never filed and Gorman continued to coach.
It wasn’t until the mother of the Pope junior wrestler, frustrated by the lack of response from Georgia authorities, began investigating Gorman herself that Pennsylvania police took an interest and eventually issued a warrant for the coach.
Now, the chair of Team Georgia, Robert Horton, is also under investigation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport for his handling of complaints against Gorman prior to his arrest.
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