- A former North East College observe coach has been charged with one depend of cyberstalking and one depend of wire fraud.
- Prosecutors allege that Steve Waithe, 28, extorted his former athletes to ship nude pictures.
- Investigators mentioned Waithe additionally hacked an athlete’s Snapchat account for his non-public pictures.
- Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.
A former Northeastern College observe coach is underneath federal investigation for cyberstalking student-athletes and extorting nude pictures from them, in accordance with the Department of Justice.
Steve Waithe, 28, has been charged with one depend of cyberstalking and one depend of wire fraud stemming from his conduct on-line with former student-athletes he educated at Northeastern. Waithe has additionally been a observe and area coach at Penn State College, College of Tennessee, Concordia College in Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Know-how.
In accordance with courtroom paperwork, Waithe acquired a number of stories and complaints of sexual harassment throughout his first semester at Northeastern, which led to a Title IX investigation on the college. He left school in February 2019, simply months after he began teaching at college.
Throughout practices, prosecutors allege Waithe requested his athletes for his or her cell telephones whereas they ran so he may test them in. Athletes who have been cited anonymously within the paperwork mentioned Waithe was typically seen ‘scrolling’ athletes’ telephones for lengthy intervals of time whereas pretending to document their coaching periods.
Renata Nyul, vice chairman of communications at Northeastern College, advised Insider in a press release that the college has supplied counseling to victims of Waithe and the college can not touch upon an ongoing felony trial.
“Mr. Waithe has been employed at Northeastern since October 2018 and was fired in February 2019 following an instructional investigation into his inappropriate conduct in direction of feminine pupil athletes,” Nyul mentioned. “Affected college students have been supplied with assets for steering and total assist for his or her well-being. The Northeastern College Police Division additionally alerted federal regulation enforcement officers and labored cooperatively all through the federal investigation. We admire the diligence of the FBI and the USA. Prosecutor’s Workplace and the ensuing actions at present. “
Utilizing IP addresses and social media account information obtained as a part of the investigation, investigators revealed that Waithe used not less than three separate Google and Instagram accounts to message his former athletes.
A 12 months after leaving Northeastern, prosecutors say Waithe launched a scheme to trick a number of of his former observe athletes into sending nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves. Utilizing an Instagram account as “Katie Janovich”, prosecutors allege Waithe despatched a number of nude pictures of one in every of his former observe athletes and mentioned he discovered the footage on-line and wished to assist them to eradicate them from the Web. When the athlete agreed, Waithe mentioned: “I’ll ship you all the private should you ship me you[;] It’s the solely means[.] I additionally noticed one other woman you would possibly know too. However provided that you ship your individual. “
In accordance with investigators, the sufferer didn’t ship him extra pictures.
Utilizing a second account with the username “privacyprotector”, prosecutors say he messaged extra of his former athletes with their nude pictures and advised them he found them on “leakedbb.com , An internet site the place leaked nude pictures are saved. He advised the sufferer that it was his job to scrub up pictures from the online, however once more, he would want extra revealing images to reverse the seek for pictures within the images.
In one other scenario, prosecutors allege Waithe advised a sufferer he had extra images of their teammates.
“There are about 5 of your teammates on the market and a variety of them fully bare,” say prosecutors Waithe despatched to a sufferer. “I can present you should you do not consider me.”
In accordance with paperwork filed by the courtroom, a number of the athletes started to know Waithe’s actions. Whereas utilizing the ‘privacyprotected’ Instagram account, Waithe admitted in a publish that one of many athletes he messaged to mentioned the one who leaked the pictures might be somebody by the title of ‘Steve’ . After confirming by different members of the workforce that he, Steve Waithe, was the suspected particular person, he mentioned: “We’re learning him now. From what we see, it does not seem like the
comes from him however I wish to make sure. “
Prosecutors allege Waithe additionally tried to hack the Snapchat account of a former observe athlete to acquire nude pictures.
Greater than a 12 months after Waithe left Northeastern College, a sufferer mentioned he acquired messages from 4 unknown cellphone numbers claiming to be from the “Snapchat Help Workforce” asking for a six-digit password. The sufferer supplied the code and a four-digit PIN to the quantity, and investigators declare they acquired an unauthorized login message to their Snapchat account later that very same day.
The sufferer’s boyfriend then received a message from “pvcyprotect” on Instagram with two nude photos of the sufferer that mentioned “I wished to let that somebody has hacked your girlfriend’s Snapchat account and can disclose it quickly. J want your assist to ensure that is the case. not occur. “
The sufferer advised investigators the nude pictures have been saved in her non-public “My Eyes Solely” album on her Snapchat which required a PIN or quantity to entry it. Investigators additionally declare that Waithe repeatedly sought “find out how to hack somebody’s Snapchat” simply someday earlier than prosecutors alleged he hacked the account and stole the sufferer’s nude pictures.
Lastly, prosecutors allege that Waithe ran a separate program to get extra nude pictures by pretending to conduct a bogus athlete research. Investigators mentioned they recognized greater than ten victims of the scheme and located not less than 300 nude or semi-nude pictures of victims in its numerous Google accounts.
If convicted, the cyberstalking cost can carry a most sentence of 5 years in jail, three years of supervised launch and a superb of $ 250,000. The wire fraud cost carries an extra sentence of 20 extra years in jail, three years of supervised launch and an additional superb of $ 250,000.