Ohio State diving ex-coach's lawyer says relationship with teen was consensual, not crime

William Anthony Bohonyi Jr. was charged with three counts of Sexual Battery and one count of Pandering Sexually-Oriented Matter Involving a Minor. (WSYX/WTTE)

A former Ohio State diving club coach pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned on charges related to allegations that he had sex with a diver when she was a teenager.

Will Bohonyi, 32, of Columbus, is charged with sexual battery and pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor. Bohonyi pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Franklin County court. Defense attorney Brad Koffel says the case isn't as bad as it has been portrayed, and is not a crime.

"It's our position that the nature of the relationship was 100% legal," Koffel said. "He was not her coach...he had no direct supervision. He couldn't put her on a team, couldn't take her off a team, couldn't discipline her, couldn't show her particular dives. He was one step removed from being the lifeguard."

Prosecutor Ron O'Brien says that's contrary to what Bohonyi told investigators.

"He admitted he was her coach, that he had authority and supervision over her and that he had quasi-disciplinary authority over her," O'Brien said.

Former diver Estee Pryor has said publicly that Bohonyi began pressuring her for sex when she was 16.

Both sides do agree the relationship was consensual, and the age of consent in Ohio is 15. "It would have been a legal relationship except for him being the diving coach and having authority over her, which he did," O'Brien said.

Pryor is among divers who have sued Indianapolis-based USA Diving, alleging it didn't do enough to stop Bohonyi.USA Diving says it didn't knowingly participate in alleged misconduct.

Ohio State says it investigated and fired Bohonyi.

Full arraignment:

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