Santee gymnastics coach is back in jail

Posted at 2:42 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 17:53:17-05

SANTEE -- A 25-year-old Santee man accused of having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl he instructed while working as a youth gymnastics coach is now back in custody with bail set at $80,000.

Patrick Wehrung was initially taken into custody during a traffic stop on Feb. 9, the same day the parents of the 15-year-old reported the alleged crimes, according to San Diego police.

The girl told investigators she had been involved in a sexual relationship with Wehrung for several months, Lt. Sandra Albrektsen said. The teen reported that he had picked her up at her home on several occasions and taken her to La Jolla Shores Beach, where the sex acts allegedly occurred.

The teenager had taken classes from Wehrung at Champion Gymnastics & Cheer on Prospect Avenue, where the suspect was employed until this week. The owner of the business fired Wehrung upon learning of the accusations against him, police said.

The business has cooperated with the investigation, police said.

The girl admitted to the alleged illicit sexual relationship when her suspicious parents confronted her, Albrektsen told reporters.

Wehrung was booked into county jail on suspicion of sexual contact with a minor, including intercourse, oral copulation and penetration with a foreign object. He was later released and made his first court appearance on Thursday. A judge decided he should be considered a flight risk and ordered he be taken back into custody.

In a related story, last month a 37-year-old teacher and volleyball coach at Crawford High School in San Diego was arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with one of her students, according to police.

Toni Nicole Sutton was taken into custody on one count each of engaging in an unlawful sexual act with a person under 18 and lewd conduct with a victim of 14 or 15.