High school coach Todd Phelps accused of raping student
CHEHALIS, Wash. —
A high school coach was on trial Thursday afternoon accused of raping a student, according to prosecutors.
Todd Phelps was a softball coach at Pe Ell High School and he claimed he wanted to help the 16-year-old girl.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News South Sound Bureau Chief Richard Thompson was at the courthouse in Chehalis to hear testimony from the victim, who was 16 years old at the time of the alleged rape
“I was dealing with depression, cutting,” said the girl. “The first thing he said is, ‘You know, I need to see those cuts.’”
Prosecutors said the student was cutting herself on her thighs and was emotionally vulnerable.
“I started to cry because I don’t show a lot of people my cuts,” said the victim. “He said, ‘Come here.’ And he hugged me and then he pulled me down.”
The girl said she thought her coach wanted to help her with her problems, and looked up to him as a father figure.
A friend of the victim testified after that incident happened Phelps messaged her on Facebook trying to pressure her and the victim to not report what happened. He said if they told, his life would be over and he’d be dead.
Phelps is no longer employed with the Pe Ell School District, and he claimed he never had any inappropriate contact with the victim.
The trial continues into Friday.