Former Northeastern Track Coach Steve Waithe Sentenced to 5 Years in Nude Photo Case

Former Northeastern Track Coach Steve Waithe Sentenced to 5 Years in Nude Photo Case
Scott LogoFeatured Columnist IVMarch 6, 2024

STADIO PIERO DE PAOLI, CHIERI, TURIN, ITALY - 2020/05/21: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created with a drone.) Aerial view shows empty stadio Piero De Paoli where Chieri Calcio plays their home Serie D (top level Italian non-professional football championship) matches. Serie D 2019-2020 season ended in advance, after a two-month suspension, due to the COVID-19 emergency in Italy. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Former college track and field coach Steve Waithe was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday because he scammed women, some of whom were the athletes he coached, into sending him nude photographs, per Michael Casey of the Associated Press.

Casey noted Waithe used sham social media and email accounts to trick the women and pleaded guilty in 2023 to 12 counts of wire fraud.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, one count of computer fraud and to cyberstalking one of his victims.

Waithe previously coached at Northeastern University in Boston, Penn State University, Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Tennessee and Concordia University Chicago.

Prosecutors, who said he acquired photographs from 50 victims and attempted to do so from an additional 72, called for him to receive an 84-month sentence, which would have included the 17 months he served since his arrest. They also called for 36 months of supervised release.

“He was willing to violate university rules,” one of his victims who spoke at the sentencing said. “He was willing to violate conditions of release. I don’t believe even after he gets out he will stop. I’m honestly begging that you give him as much time as possible.”

Waithe’s representation called for the sentence to be 27 to 33 months and then feature three years of probation.

Victoria Hernandez of USA Today noted the criminal complaint revealed Northeastern initiated a Title IX investigation into the coach after it received complaints of sexual harassment.

The school dismissed him following the investigation, ending a tenure that lasted from October 2018 to February 2019.

Casey detailed some of the coach’s actions when he was at Northeastern as a track coach that included him asking for cellphones from student-athletes to supposedly film them at practice only to secretly send himself explicit photographs if they were saved on the phones.

What’s more, he invented the female personas of “Katie Janovich” and “Kathryn Svoboda” and asked for photographs for “athlete research” and “body development.”

Prosecutors also said he used sham social media accounts to reach out to the women under the guise of help by telling them compromising photographs were discovered and more were needed to remove them through “reverse image searches.”

Casey noted Waithe also joined websites that would help him trade the photographs with other users.

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