- Raisa Habersham The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
More than a week after a former Life University coach was given a $1 million bond on accusations he’d sexually assaulted two male wrestling students, Pennsylvania authorities added more child sex charges.
Ron Gorman is now charged with a combined 513 offenses, ranging from rape of a child to statutory sexual assault to corruption of a minor.
Cobb County officials arrested Gorman, 51, of Marietta, on March 3. He has not publicly commented on the allegations, which police say began in 2006 when he was a resident of East Stroudsburg, Pa.
Pennsylvania authorities launched their investigation in September after child sexual abuse allegations surfaced in Marietta.
One of Gorman’s alleged victims told authorities on March 27 the ex-coach flew him to Georgia to continue the abuse, according to a criminal complaint. It was the second interview officials had with the now 20-year-old man.
He told police that the former coach abused him for three years, often at the Gormans’ Pennsylvania home. Gorman was arrested three days later at his Marietta home, where he moved to in 2009.
A second interview unearthed more details about the alleged abuse, including that Gorman allegedly sent the victim money in exchange for sexual videos via Snapchat, messaged him on Facebook telling him he “loves him so much it hurts” and flew the boy to his Marietta home.
Authorities interviewed another alleged victim Feb. 15 who told them he “had a poor home life” and was taken in by the Gorman family and “made to feel a part of the family,” according to the criminal complaint.
“He stated that they would go out to dinner and that (Gorman) would also take him to a hotel,” Pennsylvania Trooper Brian Noll wrote in the complaint. The alleged victim said Gorman would sexually assault him at the hotels, the first time allegedly when Gorman’s children were sleeping nearby, according to the complaint.
The alleged abuse continued until the boy was 15, when he finally told Gorman “he did not want to do it anymore,” Noll said. The boy told police Gorman continued to reach out to him, often sending sexual messages on Facebook while his wife slept.
Noll said Gorman was also concerned the alleged victim would go to the police.
Gorman’s wife was not around during the alleged assaults, Noll said.
Six years ago, local authorities received a similar tip.
A Cobb County mother told Channel 2 Action News she reported Gorman to local officials in 2011 after she found messages between her son and Gorman, then a volunteer wrestling coach at Pope High School.
“As I understand it, he was a parent whose son was on the team,” Cobb County Public Schools spokeswoman Donna Lowry said, adding that Gorman was not employed by the district at the time of the allegations.
The mother’s identity was concealed by the news station to protect her son. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not name victims of sex crimes.
She said she found two other alleged victims — one in Cobb and another in Pennsylvania.
“I don't feel like the people that were in the positions down here to protect my child and look into this (did) as much as they could have or should have,” the mother told Channel 2.
In 2015, Cherokee County officials said they received a complaint that Gorman solicited a child under the age of 16, sheriff’s office spokesman Lt. Jay Baker told The AJC. Baker said investigators were aware of the allegations in Pennsylvania and Cobb County at the time.
“Likely, there was no physical evidence in our case, and to have made an arrest, detectives would have needed a confession,” Baker said.
No charges were filed.
Life University officials fired Gorman on Feb. 20, spokesman William Brooks said.
“Life University had no direct knowledge of any criminal investigation into Mr. Gorman and was not aware he would soon be charged or arrested,” Brooks said.
Gorman was hired by the Marietta college in 2012 as an assistant wrestling coach. By 2014, he was serving as the school’s wrestling director, according to media reports.
“The University never received complaints about Mr. Gorman regarding any incident occurring on our campus or involving any member of the Life community,” Brooks said.
Lowry said the Cobb County school district’s human resources department was never notified of any allegations against Gorman.
Gorman remains in the Monroe County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania.