College Track Coach, Sextortion, PPP, Paradise Williams, Seattle, prison,fraud

College Track Coach Sentenced To Prison For ‘Sextortion’ Of Players And Women Online

The 31-year-old has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for his years-long "sextortion" of female athletes under his mentorship and women online.

Steve Waithe, a former track coach for Northeastern University in Boston, has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for his years-long scheme of tricking women into sending him explicit nude photos.

Waithe began coaching for the college in 2018 and began stealing pictures from his players as he filmed them during practice. He used various methods, listed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, to obtain these photos from over 50 female victims unjustly.

After Waithe stopped working at the school in 2020, he used fake social media accounts to trick women into sending him nude or sexualized photographs. Pretending to be a woman, Waithe persuaded his victims to send the pictures so he could perform “reverse image searches” and remove them on the internet.

Waithe even contacted athletes at his former employment, pretending to carry out research for body development. He encouraged the young women to send pictures that exposed “as much skin as possible” in the scheme.

His ruse continued after his arrest in April 2021, leading him to plead guilty to multiple charges, including 12 counts of wire fraud and singular counts of computer fraud. The 31-year-old was also convicted of cyberstalking a woman.

Six of his victims testified during his trial, but over 170 women were contacted overall by Waithe in his years of sexual exploitation and harassment. Prosecutors also emphasized how the former coach took advantage of those who looked to him as a “mentor” figure.

“To many of the victims in this case, Steve Waithe presented himself as a relatable coach and mentor. To other victims, he was a work colleague or a random acquaintance. To still others, he was considered a childhood friend,” shared the prosecutors, in a report obtained by NBC 10. “However, by the time of his arrest in April 2021, Steve Waithe was to all of these women only one thing: a predator set on exploiting his position and relationships for his own pleasure.”

Upon his conviction, the acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy called his actions “deplorable,” noting how his “sextortion” scheme has left multiple women with trauma.

“This defendant’s conduct is deplorable,” shared Levy said in a statement. “He exploited his trusted role as a coach to college athletes to engage in a sextortion campaign that has left a trail of emotional devastation in its wake. We stand by the courageous victims who came forward and help this Office hold Mr. Waithe accountable.”