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Former B-A wrestling coach accused of sexual assault faces more charges

A former Bellwood-Antis wrestling coach awaiting trial on sexual assault charges now faces additional charges.

State police on Monday charged Ryan L. Blazier, 40, of Altoona, with felony counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and institutional sexual assault stemming from new allegations made in May by one of the three alleged victims in Blazier’s original charges.

Blazier, the former Bellwood-Antis Junior High wrestling coach, was arrested Feb. 27 and charged with multiple sex crimes that involved two boy wrestlers on school property and a young girl from the time she was 3 until she was 8 that allegedly occurred away from school property.

According to the latest charges, one of the boy victims from the original charges who previously told state police he was inappropriately touched and saw the other known boy victim as well as another unidentified boy touched by Blazier, came forward last month to allege Blazier sexually assaulted him in the small wrestling room at the middle school on two occasions in December.

Police said the boy, who was 13 at the time, said Blazier penetrated him with something but he didn’t know what because Blazier was behind him and had the boy pushed against a wall with a shirt over his head.

It was the second time the boy came forward with an additional allegation since he initially spoke to state police on Feb. 21. In March, the boy told state police that Blazier kept him alone in the small wrestling room on Jan. 15 or Jan. 16.

The boy claimed in March that Blazier then fondled him and then asked him the next day if he liked it while also threatening to kill the boy’s family if he told anyone, according to the amended charges that Blazier waived to court in late March.

“We certainly have questions about the timing of the new allegations,” said Blazier’s attorney, Thomas Dickey.

“The sad thing about the way the criminal justice system is set up is anyone can say anything they want at the beginning,” Dickey said, noting that from the arrest to the preliminary hearing and any pretrial court proceedings, credibility is never an issue until the actual trial.

“We’re at the mercy of allegations. The good thing is we do get our day in court,” Dickey said. “Unfortunately, between now and then, Mr. Blazier, and any criminal defendant, has to endure a one-sided story.”

Blazier’s arrest in February set off a controversy for the Bellwood-Antis School District with parents questioning administrators and the school board about the district’s handling of the matter and state police executing a search warrant at the high school in early March.

Blazier has remained in Blair County Prison since his arrest in lieu of the $750,000 cash bail set by Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller. Miller arraigned Blazier on Monday by video and set bail on the new charges at $500,000 cash. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 9.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.

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