BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Bridgeport High School head football coach Joshua Nicewarner knew the 14-year-old girl he is accused of attempting to seduce via a computer prior to the allegations, according to the criminal complaint.
Nicewarner, 34, of Bridgeport, is accused of distributing obscene matter to a 14-year-old victim over a two-and-a-half month period from May 1, 2017 through July 18, 2017.
The complaint further states that Nicewarner sent a video of himself “simulating masturbation” to the girl. Additionally, the complaint said Nicewarner “asked the victim to send photos of herself in various stages of undress and/or simulating sexual acts.”
The minor interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center and corroborated these events. Additionally, a forensic examination of images recovered from her phone further corroborated her statement.
Investigators interviewed Nicewarner Friday. He provided a statement to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office.
Harrison County Superintendent Mark Manchin announced Nicewarner was suspended indefinitely and without pay pending further investigation into these allegations.
Dr. Manchin told the AJR News Network on Friday that he would recommend terminating Nicewarner’s position at the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting Tuesday night in Harrison County.
Nicewarner is a physical education teacher at Liberty High School and the head football coach at Bridgeport High School. Bridgeport won three AA state titles in football between 2013-2015.
The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department executed search warrants at athletic facilities on the grounds of Bridgeport High School and at Liberty High School Friday afternoon.
Nicewarner is charged with two felonies. If convicted of both charges, he could face up to 15 years in prison.
Nicewarner’s preliminary hearing in Harrison County Magistrate Court is set for Aug. 8.