Madison soccer coach accused of sending explicit messages to a teen
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Madison soccer coach accused of sending explicit messages to a teenager, who told him she had just turned 17, following a tournament appeared in court Monday for his initial appearance.
Jamie Lieberman, 34, is accused of exposing a child to harmful descriptions. A judge set his signature bond at $500, which he will have to pay if he misses a court date or violates the terms of his release, which include not speaking to the alleged victim or any other minor.
According to a criminal complaint released Monday, a McFarland High School guidance counselor called the city’s police department to report what the teen had said about her communication with Lieberman.
The complaint states that the teen was contacted by Lieberman on Jan. 30 in Minnesota following a futsal tournament, a type of soccer usually played indoors. The teen said she was told by a friend that he wanted her to join his team. Lieberman is the East Madison Futsal team coach.
The complaint alleges that the teen received the first text from Lieberman on Feb. 1. The messages were initially all about soccer and getting her to play on his team, but then changed to asking the teen about her day and how she was feeling.
The teen told Lieberman while texting on March 15 that she was just turning 17, according to the complaint, and the defendant acknowledged that. He eventually asked the teen if he could add her on Snapchat, a social media messaging app, where she agreed to do so.
The teen captured all of Lieberman’s Snapchat messages using her camera, the complaint continues, which escalated into explicit messages. At another point while the two were messaging late on April 4, the teen is quoted telling him that she was a minor.
Officials spoke with Lieberman outside of his home on April 7 and asked him how he knew the teen. He explained that he knew her from coaching and admitted that he had been communicating with her, the complaint states.
When the detective showed Liberman the messages he sent, he allegedly said that he had no excuse for sending the messages and that he knew it was wrong. He also alleged that the teen had been “baiting him.” When authorities asked what he meant by that, he allegedly said that the teen had told him she was a minor.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years and six months in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
Maj. Joe Trovato of the Wisconsin National Guard also confirmed that Liberman is an active duty army captain with the guard and has worked with the agency since 2014. He said they are aware of Lieberman’s arrest and are waiting for court proceedings to play out before making a decision on his employment.
Bill Bessette with Madison College also stated that Lieberman was never employed by the college, but did volunteer as a goalkeeper coach in 2021 for the men’s team. Lieberman attended less than 10 practices, according to Bessette.
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