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Ex-Staples Coach Gets Probation In Porn Case

(UPDATED) WESTPORT, Conn. – Michael Pickering, a former Staples High School assistant freshman football coach charged with providing players with a password to a pornographic website , was sentenced to two years of probation Wednesday in Norwalk Superior Court, according to court records.

Pickering, who turned himself in to Westport police last November, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of reckless endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor, and one count of breach of peace, a Class B misdemeanor.

He was originally charged with three counts of risk of injury to a child, a class C felony, to which he pleaded not guilty. Those pleas were vacated Wednesday when he pleaded guilty to the other charges.

The terms of his probation were not included in Pickering's case file. A message seeking comment with William Pelletreau, Pickering’s attorney, was not returned.

An investigation into Pickering was launched after a freshman girl told a school official that she overheard two freshman boys talking about a pornographic website that Pickering gave them a password to, the arrest affidavit states. During the investigation, it was confirmed Pickering provided members of the team with a password to a pornographic website.

When confronted by the Staples varsity football coach about whether he supplied members of the freshman team with the password to a pornographic website, Pickering said "yes." He allegedly said he gave the password to the players because “the team was having some issues and he wanted to fit in with them and be one of the boys,” the affidavit says.

Pickering has worked for the district since 2001 in the maintenance department. In addition to assistant coach of the freshman football team, he also coached freshman lacrosse. He was terminated from his coaching positions and placed on a leave of absence until further notice.

Westport Superintendent Elliott Landon could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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