Hatboro-Horsham coach charged with corrupting minor

Posted: June 21, 2012

A Hatboro-Horsham High School cross-country coach is charged with corrupting a minor after allegedly plying a 17-year-old girl with alcohol multiple times, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

William Ryan Lichtner, 24, of Ambler, also faces a charge of supplying liquor to a minor while he was the girl's coach.

The girl, a senior, told a guidance counselor on May 24 that Lichtner had supplied her with alcohol, according to District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. School administrators alerted Horsham Township police, who launched an investigation.

Detective Robert Waeltz found that Lichtner gave the girl alcohol on eight occasions over six months.

Lichtner was arrested and arraigned Wednesday. Released on $10,000 bail, Lichtner is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday before District Judge Harry Nesbitt III.

Investigators found that the girl sneaked out of her home in Horsham on May 23, the night before she spoke with her guidance counselor, according to a police affidavit. She went to a friend's house, where she stayed until about 2:15 a.m. She then called Lichtner to ask for a ride home. Lichtner, she said, made inappropriate comments to her during the ride.

The student showed text messages from Lichtner after she arrived home, according to the affidavit. It's unclear what the messages said.

However, the girl told police that beginning in February, Lichtner had supplied her on different occasions with vodka, Four Loko, and Mike's Hard Lemonade.

Police questioned Lichtner, who they say admitted he had given the girl alcohol at her request.

According to the school district, Lichtner served as girls' cross-country coach during the fall season for the last two years, and worked as a timer at various track meets. District officials said Lichtner went through background checks for criminal record and child abuse before being hired as a coach. Those background checks were negative, and because cross-country is a fall sport, Lichtner was not coaching at the time he allegedly gave the girl alcohol.

Lichtner could not be reached for comment.

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