WAPAKONETA — The mother of a New Knoxville student told former head basketball coach Cole Fischbach he should be ashamed of himself during an emotional sentencing hearing Monday in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court.
Fischbach, 27, who was accused last summer of having an inappropriate relationship with a female student, was sentenced Monday to serve six months in the Auglaize County Correction Center followed by five years of post-release supervision.
He was convicted in May of two counts of disseminating material harmful to a juvenile, both first-degree misdemeanors.
At a sentencing hearing Monday, the victim’s mother said her daughter has been bullied by strangers and classmates alike and will likely move away from the New Knoxville area after high school.
“You should be disappointed in yourself,” she said.
Assistant prosecuting attorney Laia Zink apologized to the girl, stating that “the state believes she deserves an apology on record.”
Zink asked the court to sentence Fischbach to 300 days in jail without work release and to five years of community control, describing the former coach as a “predator” who showed no remorse, blamed the girl for his actions and should not be around children unsupervised.
“This isn’t a victimless crime,” she said.
Zink also expressed concern that Fischbach may be hired as a coach in the future, but defense attorney Robert Grzybowski said Fischbach’s teaching permits were revoked in May. He argued that Fischbach has shown remorse and has no prior criminal history.
Still, Auglaize County Common Pleas Court Judge Frederick Pepple told Fischbach that his answers to a pre-sentence investigation were inconsistent with what he told investigators last summer.
“I don’t sense in you any remorse because you minimize what you did,” Pepple said.
Fischbach was sentenced to pay a $2,000 fine, serve 360 days in jail with six months suspended, followed by five years of post-release supervision by the Auglaize County Parole Board.
While Fischbach will not register as a sex offender, Pepple ordered the former coach to cease all communication with the victim and her family, including social media posts about the girl, and to cease all electronic communications with minors who are not related to him.
Fischbach is also barred from being alone in a vehicle with a minor who is not a family member and ordered to delete Snapchat, a messaging app known for its disappearing messages that he used to communicate with the girl.