Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner in the contest for “creepiest high school coach in America." His name is Zachary Reeder, and if he is guilty of even part of what he is accused of, he is a deeply morally broken man.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times and the Irvine Daily Pilot, the 30-year-old Orange Cal. Resident and Irvine (Cal.) Beckman High baseball coach was arrested on charges of suspicion of lewd conduct with a child, possession and distribution of child pornography, and child annoyance. The charges he faces are connected to allegations that he set up a fake Facebook account of a young blond female to lure explicit photos of teenage boys.
The Daily Pilot reported that the coach used the fraudulent Facebook account to befriend teenage boys and then lure them into “catfish” relationships not unlike a lesser version of the scam which apparently snagged ex-Notre Dame superstar Manti Teo. First, he would connect with teenage boys on the social media site, slowly drawing their interest until they eventually felt comfortable exchanging nude photos with him.
The victims of Reeder’s alleged actions range in age but are reportedly as young as 14.
At this point there is no proof that Reeder distributed the photos beyond his own control, or that he made any physical contact with the teens he befriended online.
That will be of little comfort to the parents of the Beckman baseball players or students at Anaheim (Cal.) Servite High, where Reeder has been employed since 2008.
In the meantime, Irvine police have asked anyone who feels that they may know other victims to reach out to them as they continue to assess just how much damage Reeder may have inflicted on impressionable young lives.