Seneca Valley Track Coach Charged with Sex Offense Involving a Minor
An assistant track and field coach at Seneca Valley High School has been charged with sexual offenses involving a minor from Anne Arundel County, and police believe there may be more victims.
In late August, detectives with the Montgomery County Police – Special Victims Investigations Division began investigating sexual offense allegations against Onaje Robinson, 42, of the 12900 block of Falling Water Circle in Germantown. Robinson is an assistant track coach at Seneca Valley High School located at in Germantown.
Robinson has been placed on unpaid administrative leave by Montgomery County Public Schools, which forbids him from coming to the school and having contact with students, according to Seneca Valley High School Principal Dr. Marc J. Cohen.
Investigators have charged Robinson with two counts of a third-degree sexual offense and one count of second-degree assault. He turned himself in to detectives last evening, Tuesday, September 13, according to police.
In the course of the investigations, MCPD detectives interviewed a 14-year-old girl who reported that she had met an older male subject, later identified as Robinson, on social media. After approximately one week of communication, the two agreed to meet. The victim told investigators that she told Robinson that she was 14 years old, according to police.
Police said the investigation revealed that in the early morning hours of August 20, Robinson drove to the victim’s Anne Arundel County residence. According to police, Robinson met the victim and drove her to his apartment in Germantown where they had sexual intercourse. At approximately 5:00 am, Robinson drove the victim back to her home.
After turning himself in to investigators, Robinson was transported to the Central Processing Unit and was released on $10,000 bond.
According to Robinson’s bio on the Seneca Valley athletics website, he has been the jumping, hurdling and sprinting coach for four years.
Cohen said that Robinson had not presented any problems or been disciplined while coaching at Seneca Valley and made a point to mention that the charges, in this case, are not related to Seneca Valley or Montgomery County Public Schools students.
“As a school, we require that all our coaches go through a background check and be fingerprinted,” said Cohen, he said the Robinson was vetted and passed. “As soon as we become aware of any kind of accusation or issue my job is to take the interest of the students first and contact the school system, the School Board, or child protective services – if appropriate.” He pointed out that, in this case, the investigation had already been started by MCPD before his being informed of the allegations because the alleged victim, in this case, is not a Seneca Valley student.
“In general terms, we make sure that our students know that we are here to listen to them and if there is a suggestion of impropriety, we are going to take the appropriate steps,” said Cohen.
Cohen sent a letter home to parents today regarding the charges against Robinson. In the letter, Cohen wrote, “The actions alleged in the charging documents are troubling and unacceptable. This behavior is not a reflection of the values of Seneca Valley High School, MCPS, or our community. The safety and security of our students is a top priority. We will work every day to ensure that we are providing a safe learning environment for students.”
The letter said, “MCPS has fully cooperated with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office on this matter. Pursuant to our memorandum of understanding with these agencies and MCPS policies and regulations, the Special Victims Investigation Division of the Montgomery County Police Department requested that we not share any details broadly with the community until now to avoid prejudicing the ongoing investigation.”
Anyone with information about this case or additional victims is asked to call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400.
According to MCPD spokesman Capt. Paul Starks, there is no current evidence of more victims specifically connected to Seneca Valley High School. “What generally happens in these types of cases,” said Starks. “Sometimes victims are embarrassed or afraid to come forward because of the nature of the offense. Especially young people are afraid to tell their parents or the police because they believe they are going to get in trouble. We put that out there to encourage people that it is ok to come forward. Many times when victims see that other people did forward it helpful in motivating other people to come forward, because they don’t feel like they are the only ones.”
Photo courtesy MCPD.