Wrestling coach on leave amid sex trafficking investigation

August 20, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The wrestling coach for a small college in Montana has been placed on administrative leave after his name turned up in court records in a human trafficking case.

University of Providence wrestling coach Caleb Schaeffer has not been charged, but court records say he told police he arranged to meet a woman at a Great Falls motel for oral sex after receiving a text message from an unknown phone number.

Another man is charged with human trafficking and aggravated prostitution and remains jailed on $75,000 bail. He was arrested Aug. 14 outside a motel after an employee reported suspicious activity. The woman, who is from Germany, has not been charged.

Police reviewed the motel’s security footage and recognized Schaeffer as one of the men visiting the motel room and interviewed him.

Schaeffer was placed on leave Monday after his connection to the case was reported by local media.

School administrators released a statement saying they did not have any information beyond what had appeared in news reports.

“We understand that the actions of this individual are related to conduct outside of the workplace, and do not involve the University or its students. We take this issue very seriously,” the statement said. “The employee has been placed on administrative leave and we will fully support law enforcement agencies as they investigate this matter.”

Schaeffer, who has coached the Argos wrestling team since the fall of 2007, declined comment Tuesday.

He was a four-time NAIA All-American wrestler at Montana State-Northern and won an NAIA championship as a senior.