Eisenhower band teacher and basketball coach both charged with sexually inappropriate behavior.
A former Utica Eisenhower High School girls’ basketball coach was recently accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to one of his players and has been arraigned on two felony charges. Police said David Willman, 48, of Chesterfield, sent inappropriate texts to a 14-year-old victim asking about her breast size. Willman was charged with “one count each of accosting a child for immoral purposes and using a computer to commit a crime,” the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office said.
Willman requested the victim pose for nude photographs, according to prosecutors, and sent many text messages stating he wanted to send her nude photographs of himself. He also allegedly asked what size breasts she had because “he couldn’t see her body sufficiently at practice because of her uniform,” according to the prosecutor’s office. School officials said the coach had no other role in the district and they also indicated Williams was under contract and was not actually a district employee.
“As this is a personnel matter, I am not in a position to discuss details. This action was necessary, and we are following all district policies and procedures,” Principal Jared McEvoy wrote in the letter to parents.
Christopher Traskal, 42, of Sterling Heights, the former marching band director at Eisenhower High School in Macomb County, is also currently facing sex crime charges in two cases involving students. Traskal has been charged with one count each of “child sexually abusive activity and using a computer to commit a crime.” Both charges are twenty-year felonies. He has also been charged with two counts of “fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct,” a two-year felony, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office said.
“Traskal was with Utica Community Schools for 18 years and was band director at the time he resigned October 27,” said Tim McAvoy, the district’s director of school and community relations. McAvoy said, “Traskal was an instrumental music teacher and marching band director. He began at Eisenhower September 2010.”
During an investigation, authorities have alleged they discovered “over a period of several months” this year, “Traskal sent emails to a 17-year-old student.” Eventually, these emails escalated and became sexual in nature. “Traskal’s in-school conversations and interactions with the student became increasingly inappropriate,” a release stated. The student showed the messages to her parents. The Sheriff’s Office said, “Investigators executed several search warrants on multiple electronic devices and located several emails in which the teacher solicited the 17-year-old student.”
The second case, allegedly occurring in 2011, involved a former student of Traskal’s whom he befriended in middle school. The sheriff’s office indicated both victims said they “had difficulty coming forward because of the teacher’s status within the school.” He eventually befriended the student’s mother, manipulating their relationship so he was able to spend more time with the victim.
“It is important that we teach our children to speak up when suspicious behavior is occurring. This behavior can be inappropriate comments to something more serious such as unwanted touching,” Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said.
“As parents, we place our utmost trust in the educators that spend countless hours with our children. This suspect took advantage of his position and exploited the innocence of these children. He broke the trust of not only these families, but others in the school and district. His deplorable actions cast a negative light on the profession as a whole,” said Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith. “We commend these individuals for coming forward. It is not always easy to discuss these matters, but we greatly appreciate them bringing this disgraceful behavior by the suspect to light. We hope that through the media coverage of this case and knowing that this band teacher will be held accountable, if more victims exist, they will find the courage and strength to come forward and tell their story.”
The charges against Traskal were entered a week after the charges against Williams.