CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) – A former soccer coach at Holyoke Catholic has been arrested by federal agents, accused of sexually exploiting children.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that 37-year-old Michael DuPont of Chicopee is charged in a criminal complaint of sexual exploitation of a child following a search this morning of his home.
According to the complaint, Vermont State Police were contacted by the mother of a 14-year-old girl on December 26, reporting that a week earlier, she had inadvertently discovered inappropriate e-mails between her daughter and another person.
Agents met with that girl, who told them that in October 2012, she had been contacted in a chatroom by someone calling themselves “Mike,” saying that he was as 37-year-old soccer coach in Massachusetts and at the point, she told him her age.
Prosecutors allege that the girl also communicated with “Mike” via webcam when she was asked to “put on a show” over the internet for him.
Investigators were able to later identify “Mike” as DuPont.
Once in custody, the complaint notes that after being read his Miranda rights, DuPont allegedly admitted to receiving explicit pictures of at least five different girls online including the girl from Vermont. He also allegedly admitted to asking the girl to pose nude over the webcam and to knowing that she was 14 or 15 years old.
Springfield Diocese spokesperson Mark Dupont, who is not related to the suspect, says that Holyoke Catholic and the Diocese learned of the arrest Thursday afternoon, and notes that “We were, of course, shocked by the news.”
“During his tenure as a soccer coach no allegations or related complaints were ever brought to our attention. Investigators have not found any evidence at this stage that involves Holyoke Catholic students. Like all employees of the diocese, its parishes, schools and institutions, he underwent the normal screening, CORI and child abuse prevention training procedures. He likewise signed a code of conduct,” Dupont adds.
The Diocese says that DuPont’s contract with Holyoke Catholic ended last November, and was not currently employed by the school at the time of his arrest.
“Working with the United States Attorney’s Office, school and diocesan officials will be meeting with parents, faculty and students, starting with parents of soccer players tomorrow and then early next week with the larger school community. The Bishop has pledged full cooperation with law enforcement officials in regards to their ongoing investigation. He also asks the prayers of the entire community for those whose lives are tragically victimized by these actions,” says Dupont.
At this time Michael DuPont remains in custody until his Detention hearing which is scheduled for Monday at 2:00 p.m.