Ohio High School Basketball Coach Found Dead of Suicide Days After Being Charged with Engaging in Sexual Acts with Students, Child Porn

Jason Dawson
Jason Dawson Facebook

A former Worthington Christian girls basketball coach who was facing local and federal criminal charges involving allegations he had sexual relationships with two of his former players died by suicide Wednesday.

As reported by The Columbus Dispatch, Jason Dawson, 35, was found dead around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday at a home on the 1600 block of Briarwood Avenue with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

An autopsy will be conducted by the Franklin County Coroner's office, but Dawson's death is not being considered suspicious.

Dawson Accused of Having Sexual Relationships with Two Students

Dawson had been brought back to Ohio last week after being arrested in North Carolina and extradited back to Columbus, where he faced charges for alleged sexual relationships with two of his former basketball players and students at Worthington Christian High School.

In April, a Franklin County grand jury had issued an indictment against Dawson for 10 counts of sexual battery. Dawson had been released from custody after posting a $100,000 bond on that case.

Dawson had listed a Briarwood Avenue address on court records as the place he would be living while the case was pending. That address is where Dawson was found Wednesday afternoon.

Dawson was Also Charged with Child Pornography After Victims Claimed He Recorded Some of Their Sexual Encounters

On Tuesday, a criminal complaint was filed in U.S. District Court against Dawson, accusing him of sexual exploitation of a minor and distribution or possession of child pornography.

According to federal court records, Dawson had been accused of having sexual relationships with the girls, who were 16 years old at the time, and recording some of their encounters on video. The girls came forward to police in November after finding out about each other, federal court records say.