Judge reduces Wager's bond

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 27, 2012

By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — Despite additional sex abuse allegations against former Catawba College coach Ralph Wager, a superior court judge reduced his secured bond to $400,000 Monday in Rowan County court.
Judge W. David Lee of Union County reduced the bond from $1 million and said the 69-year-old would have to wear an electronic monitor and could not go more than 50 yards from his Steele Creek residence in Charlotte.
But the hearing also brought graphic new allegations against the coach.
Investigators said they have two more allegations against Wager, said to have happened while he was a soccer coach at Catawba College, and that the coach was forced out after an incident with a college employee’s son.
Assistant District Attorney Seth Banks advocated for the bond to remain $1 million Monday afternoon, citing a jailhouse phone call in which Wager told a family member he wanted to go back to New York. He also cited an interview at the Sheriff’s Office and the new allegations.
One person who was on campus in the 1980s for a soccer camp told investigators Wager would come into his dorm room while he was asleep, Banks said.
The boy told investigators Wager would “give him massages at 2 in the morning,” Banks said.
The boy “would describe them as inappropriate,” he said.
A third alleged incident happened with an employee’s son, Banks said.
During the summer of 1990, investigators said Wager had the boy stay at his on-campus residence.
The boy later fled from the home in the middle of the night after he said Wager attempted to pull his pants down and “said he wanted to teach him things about his body,” Banks said.
Prosecutors said this was the reason for Wager’s termination and that it was not health-related as was argued by Wager’s attorney, Darrin Jordan.
It was the second time in two months that a bond hearing revealed new allegations against the soccer coach.
In July, Jordan, hoped to reduce the bond from $500,000, but Judge Kevin Eddinger doubled it instead.
Wager remained in jail Monday evening. He is charged with six counts of felony sex offense.
Check Tuesday’s Salisbury Post for more information.