Internet InfoMedia former track coach sentenced to 5 years in jail for duping athletes into sending nude photos

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A former college track and field coach was sentenced to five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, after he tricked hundreds of women into sending him naked photos of themselves.

Steve Waithe ran a scheme in which he obtained “thousands” of explicit photos from “over 100 women” through fake email and social media accounts.

The Department of Justice said while coaching at Northeastern, Waithe “requested the cell phones of female student-athletes under the pretense of ‘filming their form’ at practices and meets and then covertly sending himself explicit photos of the victims that had previously been saved on their phones.”


Northeastern University sign

Pedestrians walk near a Northeastern University sign on the school’s campus in Boston. Steve Waithe, of Chicago, a former track and field coach at Northeastern University accused of setting up sham social media and email accounts in an attempt to trick women into sending him nude or semi-nude photos of themselves pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston, prosecutors said. (AP Photo/Rodrique Ngowi, File)

After he no longer worked for the school, he operated over 20 sham accounts, and even made up two female personas, and reached out to many women regarding a fake study for athletes in which he requested photos to “track their progress” — he recommended the photos “show as much skin as possible.”

He also cyberstalked another individual, hacking into her Snapchat account and finding more nude photos, and offered to exchange such photos on other websites.

“This defendant’s conduct is deplorable. 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. The array of on-line threats is striking, and this Office will be vigilant in investigating and prosecuting those who sexually exploit victims,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. 

Northeastern university sign

The Northeastern University logo is displayed on a sign at the Boston, Massachusetts campus on Wednesday, August 2, 2006.   (Ruby Arguilla-Tull/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


“The depth of deceit demonstrated by Steve Waithe in this case is deeply disturbing. This predator readily betrayed the trust of over 50 women, tricking them into sending him explicit photos which he then used to exploit and extort them. His reprehensible actions inflicted significant anguish on these victims who were living in fear of being so personally exposed,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. 

“Today’s sentence shows that cyberstalking and sextortion is not some sick game, they’re serious crimes, and the FBI will continue to unmask and hold accountable anyone who uses today’s technology in such a vile way.”

Internet InfoMedia track

A general view of a lane marker during the Division II Mens and Womens Indoor Track & Field Championships held at the Virginia Beach Sports Center on March 10, 2023 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  (Scott Taetsch/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)


Waithe pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court to 12 counts of wire fraud, one count of cyberstalking, one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and one count of computer fraud, aiding and abetting last November.

He also coached Penn State, Illinois Institute of Technology, Tennessee, and Concordia University Chicago.

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