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Former Park hockey coach charged for alleged sex with two former players

Eric Darwitz (Bulletin file photo)

A former Park High School girls hockey coach was charged Wednesday with criminal sexual conduct for allegedly having sex in a Woodbury home with two former players shortly after he resigned to take another coaching job.

Eric P. Darwitz, 31, of Oakdale, allegedly drove two 16-year-old girls who had been on his hockey team to the home he shared with another man in Woodbury, and had sex with both of the girls late on Aug. 11 or early Aug. 12, 2006.

According to the Washington County District Court Complaint, the girls both reported that they received text messages from Darwitz asking them whether they wanted to go to a party with him. Darwitz and another man then picked the girls up and drove them to the home where Darwitz was living in the 6700 block of Sherwood Road in Woodbury, the girls told police.

The girls told police that Darwitz poured them alcoholic beverages when they arrived at the home, according to the court complaint. A short time later, one of the girls told police she was on the patio alone with Darwitz, and he kissed her, then later took her upstairs, undressed her and had sex with her, according to the court complaint. The girl said she later looked in the bathroom and saw Darwitz having sex with the second girl, according to the complaint.

The second girl told police the same thing -- that she had sex with Darwitz in the bathroom of the home, according to the court complaint.

One of the girls said they never spoke of the incident again to each other or anybody else, but eventually one girl did tell her boyfriend what happened, according to the court complaint. Shortly after learning of the alleged incident, the boyfriend reported it to the Cottage Grove Police Department in late February of this year, according to the complaint.

Darwitz admitted to having sex with one of the girls to police, but said he did not recall having intercourse with the other girl, although he did admit to being in the bathroom with her, according to the complaint. He described his relationship with both alleged victims to police as "a father figure and big brother," according to the complaint.

School District 833 is making no comment on the alleged incident due to the pending litigation, other than to confirm that Darwitz was a coach at Park, and he had resigned before the alleged incident occurred, said the district's communications director Barb Brown.

Darwitz resigned near the end of the summer of 2006 and obtained his current job as the head coach for girls U16 hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary's school in Faribault, Minn.

Darwitz has been placed on administrative leave from his position with the hockey program and in the school's admissions department pending resolution of the criminal complaint, Shattuck-St. Mary's Head of School Nick Stoneman said.

Darwitz faces charges on two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, which apply to those in a position of authority over their victims; each carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines.