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Former Western Heights Softball Coach Arrested

Michael Hestand is accused of several acts of wrongdoing, including spying on his players in the locker room. Michael Hestand is accused of several acts of wrongdoing, including spying on his players in the locker room.

Originally Published: Dec 9, 2010 7:2 PM CDT

Adrianna Iwasinski
Oklahoma Sports Special Contributor

OKLAHOMA CITY – The former girls’ softball coach at Western Heights High School was arrested Thursday. Michael Hestand is accused of secretly videotaping his players in their locker room while they were getting dressed and undressed.

A close friend and neighbor is defending the former coach, saying Hestand confided in him about the allegations and denied all of them.

“He's been a real nice guy. The best guy you could ever meet and I can't believe it really happened,” said Jimmy Gualtney. “He said to me he did not do anything like that. He was pretty upset about it, almost crying saying that ‘I would not do anything like that to my girls.’”

Gualtney has been friends with Michael Hestand for two-and-a-half years and said there's no way his neighbor could have done what he's accused of doing.

“No I don't. I really don't, not with his personality and everything. He's a real great guy,” said Gualtney.

But according to the arrest affidavit, Hestand admitted to secretly recording the girls he was coaching while they were getting dressed and undressed in the school locker room and also said he owned the camera that was found.

View the full affidavit

Hestand was the girls’ softball coach at Western Heights for close to four years. The superintendent said Hestand was fired in December of 2009 after they found adult porn on his computer at school.

Police say they also found child porn on computers they seized at the 45-year-old’s house.

“We did not know of any real issues until we were approached by our technology staff,” said Western Heights Superintendent Joe Kitchens.

Kitchens said it was not until many months later that the camcorder and several tapes were discovered by the current softball coach. And police confirmed those tapes revealed the secret recordings of girls inside school dressing rooms.

“Anywhere from partially clothed to fully nude as they were changing from their school clothes into their workout clothing for the softball program,” said Oklahoma City Police Capt. Patrick Stewart.

Police records also revealed there were inappropriate images of students taken with a cell phone found on Hestand's computer, including some taken under a desk of a girl wearing a skirt.

Police arrested Hestand at his work Thursday morning, seven months after they began their investigation.

The 45-year-old is out of jail on bond.
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