BRIDGEPORT – A former swim coach at Staples High School in Westport is facing up to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to repeatedly sexually assaulting two young Fairfield girls over a three-year period.
Jeffrey Schare pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin to two counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of risk of injury to a minor and one count of fourth-degree sexual assault. Devlin said he would impose the 8-year term along with lifetime sex offender registry when Schare is sentenced Oct. 3.
Neither Schare nor his lawyer, John Gulash, would comment as they left the courthouse.
Schare, 44, was coach of the Wreckers boys swimming and diving team for seven years and also taught math at Staples High School.
Police said both victims, who are now 12 and 9, are acquainted with Schare and attend school in Fairfield. The older girl complained to a counselor at her school.
Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Cornelius Kelly said the girls’ mother later confronted Schare with her daughter’s accusations and Schare admitted sexually assaulting the girls. Kelly said Schare also admitted the assaults to a friend who went to police.
Schare began “grooming” the two girls when they were much younger, “promising favors such as food and sleepovers as rewards for his deviant behavior,” according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
The affidavit states he began touching the girls inappropriately, which empowered him to advance his actions: “A behavior he readily admitted to his wife was a lust for younger girls, an urge that he could no longer control.”
Valerie Wilke, a licensed social worker, was later arrested after Kelly said Wilke, who had counseled the two girls after the assaults, did not report the assaults to police as she is required by law. She also did not tell the girls’ mother.
She is charged with failure to report abuse or neglect, and interfering with a police officer.