Ex-Utica Eisenhower girls basketball coach faces charges after ‘sexually explicit’ texts sent to player

David Willman (WDIV)

UTICA, Mich. – A girls basketball coach at Eisenhower High School in Utica, who was fired after the district said he sent inappropriate texts to players, now faces felony charges.

David Willman, 48, of Chesterfield Township, is charged with two felonies: accosting children for immoral purposes and using a computer to commit a crime. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office said the messages were sexually explicit.

Willman was taken into custody Tuesday and arraigned on the charges Wednesday in the 42-1 Romeo District Court. He received a $150,000 bond and is scheduled to be back in court for a probable cause conference on Jan. 14.

The district fired Willman, who was the 9th-grade basketball coach, in December after school leaders said he sent inappropriate text messages to players.

Read back: Girls basketball coach at Eisenhower High School in Utica fired after district says he sent inappropriate texts to players

Details from prosecutor

According to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, Willman sent the texts to just one player. He allegeldy was the victim’s basketball coach when she was 14 years old. Willman, through different methods of communication, requested that the victim pose for nude photographs, according to prosecutors.

“He had sent many text messages stating how much he trusted her and that he wanted to send her nude photographs of himself. (Willman) asked her what size breasts the (she) had because he can’t see her body sufficiently at practice, due to her uniform,” reads a statement from the Prosecutor’s Office.

He was fired from his position as freshman basketball coach at Eisenhower High School in December after the incident surfaced. The Prosecutor’s Office said the Sheriff’s Office was notified and communicated with the victim and her family about the communication with her coach.

“The communication had taken place the previous month over text messages,” reads a statement from the Prosecutor’s Office. “Willman had told the student numerous times to trust him and that he would help her. Later, Willman asked the 14-year-old to delete the text messages because he did not want to get into trouble. He then went on to tell the student athlete he was simply trying to build her confidence.”

Prosecutor Eric Smith said his office is seeing “too many of these cases where a teacher or coach, in a position of authority, violates the trust of a vulnerable young person and attempts to groom them.”

“This defendant not only violated the trust of his player, but that of the entire school and our community.” Smith said in a statement. “As a father of two female student athletes and Prosecutor for Macomb County, I take this matter extremely seriously."

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.