Basketball coach accused of sexual assault.

July 5, 2018


Basketball coach accused of sexual assault.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — Walkerville JV Basketball Coach Russell Douglas Swihart, 35, was arraigned in 78th District Court Thursday, July 5, on five felony counts of criminal sexual conduct (CSC) for alleged sexual assaults of two 13-year-old female players.

Swihart, of 5755 N. 192nd Ave., Walkerville, is charged with first-degree CSC, second-degree CSC, two counts of accosting children for immoral purposes and child sexually-abusive activity.

He was arrested June 25 following an “ongoing investigation” that began March 27, Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast said. The sheriff’s office interviewed several witnesses over the last few months.

Swihart is free after posting $100,000/cash/surety bond. A preliminary conference in district court is set for July 16 at 3 p.m., and a preliminary exam is scheduled for July 23 at 3 p.m.

Swihart is the boys JV basketball coach at Walkerville and assists with the JV girls basketball team, Mast said.

“The Oceana County Sheriff’s Office notified school officials that a contracted staff member for the Walkerville Public Schools is currently under official investigation for alleged inappropriate conduct involving a Walkerville student,” according to an emailed statement from the school district. “This matter is being handled by law enforcement, with the full cooperation of the Walkerville Public Schools.

“The subject of this investigation does not currently work with Walkerville students. As an additional precaution during this time, school officials have directed this person to not be on school property until further notice.

“We are dedicated to the safety and well-being of every student under our care, and are deeply saddened by this news. In cooperation with the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office, we will keep you apprised of further development about this matter.”

Mast said the allegations involve two 13-year-old players.

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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