College Coach Arrested, Accused of Tricking Student-Athletes Into Sending Nude Photos

A former college track and field coach was arrested and charged back in April in connection to a scheme to trick female student-athletes into sending him (using sham social media accounts) nude or semi-nude photos, according to a press release from the District Attorney's office in Massachusetts. The defendant, Steve Waithe, also allegedly cyberstalked at least one female student-athlete. Waithe was charged by criminal complaint with one count of cyberstalking and one count of wire fraud. He was arrested in Chicago and made an appearance in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois.

The charging documents stated that Waithe, 28, was employed as a track and field coach at Northeastern University in Boston from October 2018 to February 2019. Waithe allegedly requested to use female athletes' cellphones under the pretense of filming their form at practice at meets. During that time, Waithe was observed "scrolling through" the phones.

Waithe is being accused of perpetrating a scheme to dupe female Northeastern University track and field athletes into sending him nude or semi-nude photos of themselves starting in February 2019. He would contact the alleged victims through social media accounts, stating that he had found compromising photos of them online and offered to "help" get the photos removed from the internet. This led to Waithe requesting additional nude or semi-nude photos that he could purportedly use o conduct "reverse image searches."

Court documents also stated that Waithe cyberstalked at least one female Northeastern student-athlete through messages via social media from June 21, 2020, to October 3, 2020. He used an anonymized phone number and intrusion into her Snapchat account.

“Impacted students were provided with resources for counseling and holistic support for their wellbeing. The Northeastern University Police Department also alerted federal law enforcement officials and worked in full cooperation for the duration of the federal investigation.” Renata Nyul, a Northeastern spokesperson, said in an email to CBS Chicago. Waithe, who worked as a track and field coach at Penn State University, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Tennessee and Concordia University Chicago, is facing five years and prison and a $250,000 fine for the charge of cyberstalking. The charge of wire fraud provides a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.