Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception leaders were notified by the Hamilton County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Office that girls’ soccer coach Brian Hronek was arrested and charged with 10 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor or impaired person, President Diane Laake said Oct. 21.

She reported, “They called us the previous week when the investigation had reached the level when they became aware of the severity of it.”

The president said, “Mr. Hronek’s employment as girls’ soccer coach has been terminated. The officers involved in the investigation have assured us that no students of the academy were involved in any of their findings. Nothing is more important than the safety of our students.”

What was Laake’s reaction to the news? “We were shocked, of course, and then worried for our students, but as soon as we knew none of them were involved in any way, it was a great relief.”

Hronek, 48, Monfort Heights East, Ohio, was taken into custody by Hamilton County authorities Oct. 16 following a child pornography investigation by county detectives.

According to a WLWT-5 Cincinnati report, Hamilton County Prosecutor David Wood could not bring himself to read a description of the possessed images. “The contents of those are too vile and disgusting,” he was quoted as saying.

The former coach’s arraignment took place the following morning, when bond was set at $1 million — $100,000 for each count, according to the Hamilton County (Ohio) Clerk’s Office website, www.courtclerk.org.

Hronek is scheduled to go before a grand jury Monday morning, Oct. 28.

His charges amount to second- and fourth-degree felonies, according to codes.ohio.gov. On the website cincinnaticriminalattorney.com, a second-degree felony of this nature is punishable by two to eight years in prison and/or $15,000 in fines, per count.

The defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Hronek took over the Lady Twisters’ program earlier this year, hired after a one-year stint by Troy Cockrum. Principal and former athletic director Brian McFee was present on the sidelines as the girls won the sectional the evening of Oct. 12 and moved on to the Forest Park regional Oct. 19.

When OA administrators learned of the investigation just before the sectional, McFee stepped up to coach, according to Laake. She praised the principal and soccer athletes’ “interior strength and determination. They knew what they wanted to do as a team and not let this get in the way or somehow cloud what felt like a very successful season. They don’t want to be remembered as a team that had this coach ... but as a team that lost regionals by one. We’re very proud of them.”

Oldenburg Academy officials completed a background check on Hronek before he was hired and he passed, the president noted. A Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office investigator told Laake that until this investigation, Hronek “had no criminal record of any sort. As with all our employees, no one is hired until they have passed” not only a multistate criminal background check, which includes fingerprinting, but also an Archdiocese of Indianapolis program called Safe and Sacred. She explained, “It’s an online program about how we are to treat children ... and respect them.”

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