Local News

Child Assault May Be Linked to Soccer League

Posted June 3, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A child sexual assault on Duke's campus has soccer parents worried across the triangle. Second-year medical student David Coolidge was charged earlier this week with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy. Police now say Coolidge met the boy while coaching soccer in the Carolina United League in Chapel Hill.

Authorities at first believed the man used a well known date rape pill to commit the crime, but said later that doctors may have ruled that out.

The second-year medical student, 28-year-old David Coolidge Jr., is charged with statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a minor in a Duke University dormitory. The 13 year old, whom authorities said knew Coolidge, allegedly stayed overnight with Coolidge on May 25, 1997, in Southgate dorm on Duke's East Campus.

Residents in Southgate are shocked by the allegations of what went on in that dorm. Police say the victim was sodomized three times. Biology Student John Snyder lives just down the hall from Coolidge. He says it's not uncommon to live within feet of total strangers. Students there usually stay inside their rooms, except to walk to the public restroom.

Duke Police Major Bob Dean says it is a shocking and surprising crime for that setting.

Coolidge voluntarily appeared at the Duke Public Safety Center to be formally charged. He has been banned from campus pending the outcome of the incident. He is now free after posting a $10,000 secured bond.

A rumor that an Internet sex chat room might have been connected to the incident has not been confirmed.