Former West Montgomery High School wrestling coach Zach Carr will not serve any time in jail or on probation as a result of charges he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.
The disposition of Carr’s case came Wednesday as the result of a plea agreement in which he claimed neither guilt nor innocence, but accepted a guilty verdict on one count of sexual battery, with a prayer for judgment continued.
The relationship was described as “consensual”, and a 2013 release from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said the relationship involved sexual activity on and off campus through the course of the 2012 football season. Carr is 27 years old.
Last month, a Montgomery County jury found former coach and bus driver James Knight guilty of the felony charge of indecent liberties with the same student. That relationship was also described as “consensual”, and the 24-year-old Knight was sentenced to two years of supervised probation and court-ordered sex offender treatment, and was required to register as a sex offender.
In an unrelated case, former Montgomery Learning Academy principal John Ward pleaded guilty in 2013 to sexual battery after fathering a child with a 16-year-old student. Ward also received no jail time, but was sentenced to 24 months probation and required to register as a sex offender for 30 years.
The absence of active jail time in the three cases stands in contrast with an earlier case involving a Montgomery County Schools employee. In 2012, former West Montgomery guidance counselor and coach Shawn Day was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 15 years in prison and seven years of supervised probation in a case involving solicitation of a child by computer and sex offense with a student.
Day was arrested by local authorities, but his case was prosecuted under the federal “Operation Safe Childhood” initiative. At the time, U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand said, “We intend to make sure that those who exploit children, especially those who abuse positions of trust in exploiting children, are punished accordingly.”