Gymnastics Coach Who Pleaded Guilty to Sex With Minor Sentenced

A San Diego judge said a Santee gymnastics coach convicted of having sex with an underage gymnast does not realize he has caused lifelong damage for the teenager and her family.

Patrick Wehrung, 25, was sentenced Wednesday to 365 days in jail, 132 of which he has already completed. He will spend three years on probation, will be fined and will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. 

He previously pleaded guilty to statuary rape, oral copulation and digital penetration of a 15-year-old girl.

"I don’t think you fully understand how this affects other people. It’s not just your victim and what she’s going to have to live with – it’s the entire family," Judge Daniel Link told Wehrung. "A family who has raised this girl and you decided, ‘She’s the one I want. I don’t care how young she is.’ And that’s wrong, on so many levels."

In court Wednesday, it was revealed that Wehrung continued to contact the victim again after the court ordered him not to contact her. 

Link made it clear in court Wednesday that Wehrung is not to contact the teenager in any capacity. If he does, he will go to prison.

For more than four years, Wehrung worked as a boys’ gymnastics coach at Champion Gymnastics and Cheer in Santee, where the victim is a gymnast.

Deputy District Attorney Nicole Roth said Wehrung carried on a sexual relationship with the teenage girl that spanned one month, starting on Dec. 19, 2015. 

On four occasions, Wehrung allegedly picked the girl up and took her to La Jolla Shores to engage in sexual activity, Roth said.

Wehrung was fired from his position on Jan. 22 and arrested on Feb. 9 after the girl’s parents called investigators, San Diego Police say.

The judge said the coach's inappropriate relationship with the young girl is something she will have to deal with for the rest of her life.

"One of her first sexual experiences – as a 15-year-old – is now defined by you, an adult. And that really wreaks havoc on a young mind and how they look at relationships and how they live the rest of their lives."

Before his sentencing, Wehrung violated court orders and continued to contact the victim. Link made it clear in court Wednesday that Wehrung is not to contact the teenager in any capacity.

No impact statements were read at Wehrung’s sentencing, but Link said he did receive two letters: one from the victim and another from the girl’s mother. The judge said the victim’s family is very upset about what happened, and asked for a longer sentence for Wehrung.

The victim and her family were in court Wednesday but asked NBC 7 to respect their privacy during this difficult time.

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