Ex-Life University coach faces 261 child sex charges

Former Life University wrestling coach Ron Gorman faces 261 child sex charges, including 36 counts of child rape, according to Pennsylvania court records.

Gorman, 51, is from Pennsylvania. He once worked there as a youth wrestling coach.

The alleged incidents date to 2006 and involve multiple children, records show. One, a former athlete who is now 20 years old, told police he was 10 when the alleged abuse began. He said he was 15 when it ended.

It was a local tip that helped Pennsylvania State Police uncover the allegations against Gorman, who was arrested Friday afternoon outside his east Cobb County home.

The tipster told police Gorman had inappropriate contact with children, officials said. Officials launched an investigation in September.

Six years ago, local authorities received a similar tip.

A Cobb County mother told Channel 2 Action News she reported Gorman to local officials in 2011 after she found messages between her son and Gorman, then a volunteer wrestling coach at Pope High School.

“As I understand it, he was a parent whose son was on the team,” Cobb County Public Schools spokeswoman Donna Lowry said, adding that he was not employed by the district at the time of the allegations.

The mom’s identity was concealed by the news station to protect her son. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not name victims of sex crimes.

She said she found two other alleged victims — one in Cobb and another in Pennsylvania.

“I don't feel like the people that were in the positions down here to protect my child and look into this (did) as much as they could have or should have,” the mother told Channel 2.

In 2015, Cherokee County officials said they received a complaint that Gorman solicited a child under the age of 16, sheriff’s office spokesman Lt. Jay Baker told the AJC. Baker said investigators were aware of the allegations in Pennsylvania and Cobb County at the time.

“Likely, there was no physical evidence in our case, and to have made an arrest, detectives would have needed a confession,” Baker said.

No charges were filed.

Life University officials fired Gorman on Feb. 20, spokesman William Brooks said.

“Life University had no direct knowledge of any criminal investigation into Mr. Gorman and was not aware he would soon be charged or arrested,” Brooks said.

Gorman was hired by the Marietta college in 2012 as an assistant wrestling coach. By 2014, he was serving as the school’s wrestling director, according to media reports.

“The University never received complaints about Mr. Gorman regarding any incident occurring on our campus or involving any member of the Life community,” Brooks said.

Lowry said the Cobb County school district’s human resources department was never notified of any allegations against Gorman.

In addition to child rape, Pennsylvania authorities charged Gorman with 38 counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person under 16, 36 counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, 38 counts of contact/communication with a minor for sexual offenses, 38 counts of statutory sexual assault, 36 counts of indecent assault on a person under 13, 38 counts of indecent assault on a person under 16 and one count of corruption of minors, records show.

“I am not aware of any local charges,” Cobb sheriff’s spokesman Robert Quigley said.

Gorman waived extradition to Pennsylvania and remains in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center, Quigley said.

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