College Track Coach Sentenced to 5 Years for Tricking Over 50 Women into Sending Nude Photos

Steve Waithe pleaded guilty to wire fraud and cyberstalking charges

Derik Hamilton/getty images Steve Waithe
Derik Hamilton/getty images Steve Waithe

A former college track and field coach was sentenced to five years in federal prison after setting up fake social media accounts, attempting to trick over 100 women into sending him nude or compromising photos.

When Steve Waithe, 31, was a coach at Northeastern University in Boston from 2018 to  2019, he used the phones of female athletes, telling them it was for “filming their form,” when he was actually sending himself explicit photos of the women saved on their devices, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a release.

In 2020, Waithe, who was no longer at the school, then began starting fake social accounts and victimized or attempted to victimize at least 128 women, including some of the same student-athletes at Northeastern, prosecutors said.

Related: Former Northeastern University Track Coach Allegedly Tricked Female Student Athletes into Sending Nude Photos

Waithe used the accounts to message women, saying that he had found compromising photos of them online, and needed another nude or semi-nude photo to conduct “reverse image searches” in order to help remove them, according to prosecutors, who added that none of the Northeastern athletes were successfully tricked.

Prosecutors say Waithe made up two female personas and claimed to be conducting “athlete research” and “body development” studies and asked for photos showing “as much skin as possible.”

The former coach, who also formerly worked at Penn State University, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Tennessee and Concordia University Chicago, also cyberstalked a woman through texts, messages and by hacking into her Snapchat account, according to the press release.

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Waithe was arrested in April 2021, but prosecutors said that during his pre-trial release, he engaged in “virtually identical” conduct.

In November 2023, Waithe pleaded guilty to 12 counts of wire fraud, one count of cyberstalking, one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and one count of computer fraud, aiding and abetting.

“This defendant’s conduct is deplorable,” Acting U.S. Attorney Josua Levy said in a statement. “He exploited his trusted role as a coach to college athletes to engage in a sextortion campaign that has left a trail of emotional devastation in its wake. We stand by the courageous victims who came forward and help this Office hold Mr. Waithe accountable.”

A federal judge sentenced Waithe to five years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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