A high school softball coach was sentenced to 17 years in jail after being convicted on some of the more disturbing charges imaginable: He secretly videotaped his players while they changed in the school locker room and then stored the subsequent videos and photographs on his computer.
As reported by The Oklahoman, longtime Yukon (Okla.) Western Heights High softball coach Michael Hestand was convicted on five counts of taking clandestine photographs and one count of engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses in two or more counties. All six charges followed Hestand's admission that he had secretly videotaped his own players as they changed in the school's locker room while he served as the Western Heights softball coach.
According to police, Hestand had more than 100 child pornography images on his computer, and 30 other sexually revealing photographs that he secretly took with his cellphone. The former coach also reportedly had roughly 50 photos of the school's cheerleaders in suggestive poses as well.
While Hestand's 17-year sentence, which will be followed by 15 years of probation, may seem tough, it could have been even more strict for the 46-year-old Yukon resident. The sentence was handed down by District Judge Ray C. Elliott, who opted against sentencing Hestand to life in prison but countered any concept that he was letting Hestand off easy by harsh words for the former coach, whom he called an "embarrassment" to the teaching profession.
"I suspect the fathers of those girls would have a few things to say to you," Elliott told the courtroom while sentencing Hestand. "I suspect a lot of them would like to take you out behind the barn.
"You were not a good moral character and you were not an upstanding citizen."
Now, Hestand is a convicted felon and will spend more than a decade behind bars, which may provide some small sense of comfort for the parents of athletes who were violated without even knowing it.