Mar 2, 2016 3:00 PM
KEENE - A Keene youth hockey coach's court appearance was waived Wednesday after he allegedly engaged in online chats discussing sexual contact with a child.
Police said in a press release that initial complaints came from a person using the internet site “Meetme,” where a subject was described to be engaging in online chats mentioning sexual contact with a child. A launched investigation resulted in the user suspect being identified as Keene Cobra's youth hockey team coach, 29-year-old Henry Stebbins.
“Kind of surprising because this is a small town,” a community member Andre St. Pierre said, when he first heard about the youth coach.
The allegations caught everyone off guard when they heard that Stebbins was removed from the youth hockey team after police revealed that he was caught altering, concealing and destroying evidence on his cell phone.
“Very, very disappointed that something like that and so close to kids," community member, Danny Blood said. "It’s hard to think something like that goes on.”
“He was all up to date and trained and well he was looking good on paper,” the team’s media representative, Josh Jarvis said. “We have safeguards in place, you know we background check people.”
The ex-coach passed these background checks with flying colors but has since been removed from the team.
The team’s president Laura Lama, released a statement on the group’s Facebook page immediately notifying parents in-part saying, “We have no information at this time that any of our members have been victims or otherwise involved in this situation and no members of our club have raised any concerns about the former coach.”
“No one came forward before or after that statement," Jarvis said. "We encouraged parents to have that talk with their kids about inappropriate behavior.”
Still the sheer thought of this man being near young athletes doesn’t sit well with some.
“I mean I’m an uncle, it’s scary to think something like that so close to home,” Blood said.
Stebbins did not appear in court Wednesday, but his attorney did file paperwork.
No date has yet been set for Stebbins' next hearing, and he has been released on a $2,500 personal recognizance bail.
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