FEDERAL WAY — A 23-year-old high school woman’s basketball volunteer faces charges of child molestation for allegedly having sexual relations with a 15-year-old female player.
Brianna Strong was charged with third-degree child molestation and communication with a minor for immoral purposes Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court. Her bail was set at $70,000. She faces up to five years in jail.
According to charging documents, Strong was a volunteer who started coaching the junior varsity team at the high school last November. She developed a relationship with a 15-year-old girl on the basketball team. Strong would often drive the girl home, prosecutors allege, and the two would kiss and engage in sexual relations.
The two also allegedly exchanged naked photos via text messages.
A fellow student of the girl came forward and told school administrators that she believed her friend was having an inappropriate relationship with Strong. The suspect was arrested Saturday at Sea-Tac International Airport, where she works for Delta Airlines.
She allegedly admitted to being in a relationship with the student, prosecutors said, and that the two loved each other. Strong also told police she knew the relationship was inappropriate, and told the student they should wait until she were 16 years old.
In the letter the high school sent home to parents following Strong’s arrest, Federal Way officials encouraged them to talk to their students about what’s appropriate.
“Even if our victim was 17 or 18, they’re still in that environment where they’re at school,” said Schrock. “This person is a person of authority, a coach, a teacher. So this is an opportunity for us to talk to our children about what’s OK and what’s not OK when it comes to teachers and coaches.”
Police say Strong does not have a criminal history. Although the investigation just began last week, right now they do not believe there were any other victims.
She is slated to be in court again June 23 for an arraignment hearing.