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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Predator Label Applies to Ex-Girls’ Soccer Coach

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CN) - A woman who admitted to preying on her soccer team for sex qualifies as a sexually violent predator, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled.

Altoona High School hired Kyla Hollingshead as an assistant coach for the girls' soccer team in 2010. That October, 22-year-old Hollingshead began a romantic relationship with a 15-year-old player on the team.

In October 2012, Hollingshead began another romantic relationship with a 16-year-old player on the team.

She was charged in June 2013 with two counts of corruption of minors and one count of institutional sexual assault.

Hollingshead pleaded guilty to one corruption count and the assault count, and she was sentenced that December to 60 days to 23 1/2 months imprisonment, followed by 30 months probation.

The trial court in Blair County designated Hollingshead a sexually violent predator in July 2014, and the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld that finding on Feb. 19.

Hollingshead admitted "that her conduct was predatory," but she took issue with the court's finding that she was a "hebephile," a term for people with a sexual preference for young adolescents.

Though she disputed that she groomed her victims, the court found said Hollingshead used jewelry and special attention to win over the girls, and that both relationships involved oral sex.

With the commonwealth's expert diagnosing Hollingshead as a hebephile, the court had a sufficient basis to find that the defendant has a mental abnormality, according to the ruling.

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