Former St. Thomas HS coach charged with possessing child porn
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Investigators say they found hundreds of pictures and videos stored on Gordon Oehmig's home computer. Oehmig was head wrestling coach at St. Thomas High School on Memorial Drive.
Houston police are warning parents that their kids could be victims. They are calling this an elevated threat because the suspect worked with kids, both as an employee and volunteer.
"We are coming to you today because we believe he has a strong sexual interest in children," said Houston Police Officer J.T. Roscoe. "Unfortunately a sport such as wrestling allows for a lot of hands on contact."
Oehmig, 29, bonded out of jail early Friday morning on a $20,000 bail. He has now been charged with five felony counts of possessing child pornography.
Investigators raided his home Thursday morning after Oehmig allegedly joined a file sharing network. They say they found 1,600 images and 550 videos of child pornography on his home computer. Most of the pictures allegedly involved young boys. We're told there were 21 images of toddlers.
"We have recovered numerous pieces of evidence that show that he has a sexual interest in young males, and at least one piece of evidence that shows us he has a sexual interest in children," Officer Roscoe said.
Police are now concerned the suspect may have even more victims. He was employed as the head wrestling coach at St. Thomas High School and the assistant wrestling coach at Episcopal High. Police say Oehmig also worked and volunteered at several other local wrestling organizations.
Officer Roscoe said, "Sex offenders will go out and make themselves available to children and put them in places. That's why you have them as wrestling coaches, Boy Scout leaders, church leaders -- they go where they can find the children. Unfortunately, a sport such a wrestling allows for a lot of hands-on contact."
Oehmig has resigned from his position at St. Thomas High School.
The school gave us a statement, which reads, in part: "It is our understanding that none of the activities associated with the charge are alleged to have taken place on St. Thomas High School campus or using any St. Thomas High School property, or involve any St. Thomas High School students. ... We want you to know the care, safety, well-being and education of our students are always our top priority."
The statement goes on to say that all employees undergo background checks.
The archdiocese of Galveston-Houston also released a statement regarding the arrest of Oehmig stating, "The archdiocese of Galveston-Houston was saddened to learn yesterday that a former employee of St. Thomas High School had been charged with possession of child pornography. It is our understanding that none of the allegations involved St. Thomas High School students or the use of the high school campus or property. We are confident St. Thomas High School will continue to fully cooperate with the civil authorities."
According to police, Oehmig was also a part-time wrestling coach for Episcopal High School and was a volunteer wrestling coach at Paradigm Training Center for the Houston Area Wrestling Association.
"We ask that parents that have been associated with any of the organization that he has sit down and have a talk with their children regarding this," Officer Roscoe advised.
We have confirmed Oehmig has hired Houston attorney Dick DeGeurin. He said it is still too early to comment on this case, but he will be with Oehmig in court Monday.
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