New sex abuse charges added against former Palisades School District teacher

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- Additional charges have been filed against a former teacher and women's soccer coach in connection with the alleged abuse of young women, according to the Bucks County District Attorney's Office.

Investigators say Christian Howard Willman, 39, is sitting in a cell after years of preying on the young women he was supposed to be trusted with.

On Thursday, district attorneys in both the Bucks and Lehigh counties describe what they say was Willman's systematic approach to gain trust for sex with students.

Bucks County DA Matthew Weintraub said, "The power of apparent love is a powerful thing and sometimes it can be used to silence people."

Weintraub says Willman used his position of power to keep several teenage girls quiet for many years at both Parkland High School in Lehigh County and Palisades High School in Bucks County.

He says it all began once Willman accepted a role as a teacher and boy's soccer coach at Parkland from 2001-2011.

After a stint there, Willman started a new position as a teacher and girls' soccer coach at the Palisades High School from 2011 to 2018.

Investigators says Willman would wait until the victim's turned at least 16, gain their trust, and then begin the abuse through sexting and in most cases that led to physical sexual assault.

Many times the alleged assaults occurred on campus and that it would only stop for one reason.

"He stops victimizing his victims once they leave the high school, whether it be through graduation or other means," said Weintraub.

Investigators say the case was first broken open by one of the victims from Palisades who graduated and told a former teacher what had happened.

With six girls already coming forward, authorities think there's likely more.

Parkland High School officials say they first learned of everything this past March and since then, they've been cooperating to the fullest with the investigations.
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