(Urbana, Illinois) A 29-year-old softball coach, Candace Welch, has been accused of engaging in sex with a member of her team, a 15-year-old girl.
Welch faces charges of criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual abuse.
Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Bennett said Welch allegedly initiated her relationship with the then-15-year-old girl while they were at a softball tournament in Peoria in July. The contact reportedly continued through the fall of 2012 and the teen often spent the night at Welch’s home, he said.Welch was booked into custody with bond set at $250,000.
The alleged contact came to the attention of the sheriff’s office in early December, according to Lt. Ed Ogle, when a neighbor tipped police about it.
The teen was interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center and said she was in a “dating relationship” with Welch that included them engaging in various sex acts. Bennett said Welch admitted engaging in those acts and said she knew the girl’s age at the time.