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Charges: H.S. Coach Allegedly Sexually Assaulted Student In Weight Room

POLK COUNTY, Wis. (WCCO) -- A high school football coach in Polk County has been charged with sexually assaulting a student last year in the school's weight room.

The Polk County District Attorney charged 35-year-old Benjamin Chenal Wednesday with the sexual assault of a student by school staff. If convicted, Chenal could be sentenced to six years in prison and fined $10,000.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim told police that on June 16, when she had gone to the weight room by herself, Chenal sexually assaulted her. The victim said Chenal had been the weight room supervisor since her freshman year of high school.

The victim said she messaged Chenal on Facebook the day before wanting to know the hours of the weight room. Around 6 a.m., the next day, she went into the weight room and was the only person there besides Chenal, said the complaint.

She said she usually went with her ex-boyfriend but hadn't gone on her own until that morning.

The victim said after she left, she did not want to go home at first. She said Chenal texted her statements like "are you cool with what we talked about this morning?" said the complaint.

In January, the investigator said that when he drove to Chenal's home, Chenal was aware of the complaint due to the school placing him on administrative suspension regarding the incident.

During the interview, the investigator said that Chenal would look at his wife before answering questions about the messages sent to the victim.

According to the investigator, Chenal stated that "I don't feel like I did anything wrong" when questioned about the incident on June 16.

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