A North Olmsted High School assistant soccer coach arrested last week for allegedly having sex with a minor has been charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third-degree felony. Joseph A. Zarycki, 37, of Macedonia has been banned from the school campus, suspended from coaching and put on unpaid leave as a result of the incident with a 14-year-old boy in Streetsboro on Dec. 23.
Zarycki has been a boys varsity assistant soccer coach in North Olmsted for nine years and is not a teacher or employee of the district in any other capacity, district officials said. The charges stem from a 5:10 p.m. incident in which a business’s security guard said he found two males having sex in a car, said Lt. Patricia Wain of the Streetsboro Police Department.
Zarycki was identified as one of the males, while the other was found to be 14 years old, Wain said. Investigation showed the two met in an online chat room, she said.
Bond was set at $100,000 during Zarycki’s initial appearance in Portage County Municipal Court on Dec. 24. A third-degree felony sexual offense in Ohio carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a $10,000 fine.
“Mr. Zarycki has been associated with our Boys Soccer Program for a number of years,” North Olmsted Superintendent Mike Zalar said in a statement. “As far as I know, he has performed well and we have not received any complaints or referrals about anything related to his behavior on or off the soccer field. This is a serious allegation and he will be immediately suspended from all coaching activities and put on administrative leave pending the investigation. During this time Mr. Zarycki will not be permitted to be on our campus nor have any interaction with any of our students. We will cooperate fully with law enforcement and follow all state and local policies regarding any disciplinary action that may result from this incident."
Zarycki’s attorney, James Haupt, said Zarycki is maintaining his innocence.
Streetsboro police have not had any prior incidents involving Zarycki, Wain said. North Olmsted police also reported no prior incidents involving Zarycki.
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