A Novato High School track and field coach faces 10 years in prison following charges on five counts after an inappropriate relationship with a former student was uncovered.
The 64-year-old Novato resident, Steven Robert Deschler, has been free on bail since he was arrested July 2 at Oakland International Airport, while returning home from vacation with his wife. He was arraigned in August.
Deschler’s defense team, comprised of attorney David Vogelstein and co-counsel Gary Kauffman, is still reviewing the case details and is not prepared to comment on the allegations. The defense, however, does point out that these accusations are based on the statements of one individual after more than 20 years of coaching by Deschler.
Vogelstein added that Deschler is a veteran of the South San Francisco Fire Department, saving lives and serving as a community hero as a captain with the department for twenty-five years.
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the case after the girl’s mother found evidence of the relationship on her daughter’s phone. Investigators allege that Deschler and the girl had known each other for four years before starting a sexual relationship in April 2015. A court order, obtained by authorities, bars Deschler from having any contact with the girl, who has since graduated from Novato High.
Deschler was booked into Marin County Jail and bail set at $100,000. He was released on a bail bond while the Marin County District Attorney’s Office determined whether to file charges. In July, the prosecution filed three felonies and two misdemeanors alleging lewd sex acts and communications.
If convicted, Deschler could face time in prison as well as lifetime registration as a sex offender.
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