Former coach gets jail for student sex abuse

A former Berks County high school coach admitted Thursday to having sex with a 16-year-old student.

Benjamin Stopper, 32, was sentenced to 11 ½ to 23 months in prison, followed by 4 years of probation, after pleading guilty to institutional sexual assault and corruption of minors.

Stopper met the victim as he worked as an assistant track coach at the Conrad Weiser Area School District and volunteered as a football coach at Conrad Weiser High School in Robesonia, Pa.

He began an intimate relationship with the teen in May 2013, when his wife was pregnant with the couple’s child. 

The abuse came to an end about three months later. The victim planned on meeting Stopper at her home, but her father returned unexpectedly. He then contacted the Berks County District Attorney’s Office, which referred the matter to police.

Stopper was arrested in August 2013. Prosecutors said he had sexual contact with the student about 20 times.

Stopper’s bail was raised last September, then again the next month, after prosecutors said he continually tried to call, text and visit the victim, despite being issued a no-contact order.

As a result of his plea, Stopper will also have to register with the state as a sex offender for 25 years.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.