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Woman charged with interfering in coach's sex-assault case

Published 1:24 pm, Wednesday, January 9, 2013
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A Joan Drive woman is facing charges after police said she initially refused to cooperate with an investigation into a local sexual-assault case.

Valerie Wilke, 51, surrendered at police headquarters Wednesday morning and was charged on a warrant with failure to report abuse or neglect and interfering with an officer.

The charges stem from the investigation and arrest of former Staples High School boys swim coach Jeffrey Schare, a Fairfield resident. According to police, Wilke initially reported to a school counselor that she was aware of an instance of inappropriate sexual conduct between a middle school student and an adult. The student was a friend of her daughter's, police said, but Wilke would not give authorities the victim's name, according to the report.

Wilke was released on a promise to appear Jan. 23 in Bridgeport Superior Court.

After a lengthy investigation, Schare was charged last month with two counts each of first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, and one count each of third-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault and attempted third-degree sexual assault.

Police said Schare confessed to sexually assaulting two young girls for more than three years.