Eric P. Darwitz had sex with HS hockey players but beats jail time
Coach Eric P. Darwitz may have urged a couple of high school girl hockey players into the sack at his Woodbury home after a drunken party a few years ago, but he won't go to jail for his indiscretion because he wasn't their coach at the time.
Photo: aimee.craze One puck over the line
A Washington County jury let Darwitz, 32, off the hook because he'd left his old coaching job at Park of Cottage Grove High School two days before he scored with the two 16-year-old Park players.
According to the Strib:
[P]eople in positions of authority over minors -- including coaches, teachers and clergy -- are held to a stricter legal standard. Another man at the party was not charged, prosecutors said, because unlike Darwitz, he hadn't been in a position of authority over the girls.
Darwitz had accepted a job at Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault at the time of the 2006 party; he was placed on leave from that job when the charges surfaced and has since resigned.
The prosecution argued that the girls still thought of Darwitz as their coach.
Via the South Washington County Bulletin:
"Did you still believe at that time that he was your coach?" asked defense attorney Earl Gray during a sometimes-combative cross-examination.
"I don't even want to answer that question," the first alleged victim to testify, now 19, said tearfully. "No."
Also from the Bulletin:
The girls testified they, then 16-years-old, played drinking games and were led upstairs for sex by Darwitz and a friend after getting picked up by the two after Darwitz had invited them to a party through an exchange of text messages.
Darwitz ended up in court, charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual, after the boyfriend of one of the girls went to the police with the story.