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Ex-coach faces new charges

Edward Henry Wernsing, 35, was charged recently with having sex with a 15-year-old girl he coached in softball.

Saturday, he was again arrested and charged with trying to influence the girl to withhold testimony in the lewd and lascivious behavior case.

Wernsing, of Tarpon Springs, was charged with tampering with a witness/victim and held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

The 15-year-old girl was a member of a community softball team called the East Lake Angels. Wernsing was head coach of the team, a volunteer position.

"They met through the team," said Pinellas sheriff's Sgt. Greg Tita. "That is how the relationship began."

On Nov. 24, the girl's father found Wernsing, known to team members as "Coach Ed," in bed with his daughter.

Wernsing had climbed through an open window, a sheriff's report said.

The father held Wernsing at the home until sheriff's deputies arrived.

Wernsing admitted to detectives that he had sexual intercourse with the girl at his home and hers, say arrest affidavits and court records.

"It all started with him showing her his muscle magazines," the girl's father said Monday. "He was king of the kids. In reality, he was an authority figure who betrayed a lot of trust. He used his position as a coach."

Neither the girl nor her father is being identified because of her age and the nature of the case.

In the latest arrest, Wernsing is accused of having contact with the girl since he was released from jail, Tita said. Wernsing and the girl exchanged letters and had other contact, Tita said. On Friday, the girl went with friends to the State Fair.

Wernsing is accused of meeting her at the fair and being with her for several hours.

"My daughter is not a provocative girl," said her father. "I think it's time people become aware of the situation because I don't want this guy to bother any other children."