A former Ohio State University Diving Club coach admitted on Thursday that he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl who was a member of the club.
William A. Bohonyi Jr., 33, could be sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual battery in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Although the charges carry the possibility of probation, county Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said his office will argue for prison when Bohonyi is sentenced on Aug. 12 by Judge Michael J. Holbrook.
Under Ohio law, Bohonyi committed sexual battery by engaging in sexual conduct with the girl while acting as a coach with "temporary or occasional disciplinary control" over her. Ordinarily, the age of consent is 16 in Ohio.
Whether he goes to prison or not, the conviction requires him to register as a sex offender every three months for the rest of his life.
From July 5 through 28, 2014, the girl performed oral sex on Bohonyi on "multiple occasions" in the Neil Avenue parking garage on the campus and in the parking lot of the Church of the Resurrection in New Albany, Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Rausch said.
As part of the deal agreement, prosecutors dropped a third sexual-battery charge, as well as a charge of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor based on an allegation that Bohonyi created a video of the conduct. O'Brien said it was unclear how old the victim was when the video was taken, making the charge difficult to prove.
The victim filed a federal lawsuit in July 2018 against Bohonyi, Ohio State and USA Diving, although Ohio State has since been dismissed as a defendant. The suit alleged Bohonyi coerced and forced Pryor and another diver into frequent sex. She filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, where USA Diving is based.
Ohio State officials have said that when the university became aware of Bohonyi's conduct, he was immediately placed on administrative leave on Aug. 10, 2014. He was fired on Aug. 29, 2014.
Bohonyi, of Whitehall, will remain free on bond while awaiting sentencing.