Cheerleading coach faces sex abuse charges

Cheerleading coach faces sex abuse charges »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. - A man trusted to coach high school cheerleaders has been indicted on federal sex abuse charges in connection with an incident on an airplane involving a minor.

David Aaron Chatman, 32, leads the cheerleading squad at Southridge High School in Beaverton and also has a private team in Tigard, which is where the accusation comes from.

The coach is accused of touching a 16-year-old cheerleader on an airline flight following a world competition at Disney World in late April. Investigators say Chatman fondled the teenage girl under her clothes while she slept in the seat next to him and when she woke up she was scared and pretended to be sleeping so he would stop.

Through Chatman's MySpace account, an undercover FBI agent pretended to be the 16-year-old girl from the flight and exchanged e-mails with Chatman, which incriminated him in the incident.

"The agent assumed the online identity and had some conversations with Mr. Chatman and some of the conversations pertained to conduct on the plane," said Bill Williams, Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Chatman faces two counts of abusive sexual contact. In court on Tuesday, the judge released Chatman with the conditions that he stay away from minors, he is not allowed to use a computer and he has a curfew from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Chatman's trial is scheduled to begin in July.

Meanwhile, Southridge High School has suspended Chatman, pending the results of the investigation. 

The FBI would like to hear from anyone who has further information about this incident or who feels there was some inappropriate contact between Chatman and another minor.  Call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 if you have information.