Saturday, June 23, 2007
Track Coach Weds 16 Year Old Student Athlete
When does a child become a woman capable of consenting to a relationship? Some states indicate that the age of consent is 16 unless there is a supervisory relationship between the minor and adult. Others indicate 18 is the age of consent. Betty and Dennis Hager had to answer this question concerning their teenage daughter, Windy. Windy, age 16 has married her track coach, Brenton Wuache, age 40. At first, the Hagers thought he was just a caring coach. But they became concerned when cell phone bills revealed text messages between Windy and her coach as late as 2 a.m. They also discovered an e-mail where Windy expressed her affection for her coach. Coach Wuchae assured the Hagers that nothing was going on. The Hagers asked the school district to speak to the coach. The principal responded in part that "School officials can't be responsible for what happens the other hours of the day, and I would think the relationship developed much more outside of school." The Hagers contacted police and tried to get a restraining order.
In response, Windy withdrew, refusing to speak to her parents until they signed a consent to the marriage. Windy's parents gave in and signed the consent. Monday, Windy and Wuchae married. Windy and her new husband have not yet publically commented; however, one would anticipate that they would respond that Windy is "mature for her age." Is it legal, yes with the consent. Is it right? Depends on who is answering the question.