The trial began Tuesday at the Blair County Courthouse for Ryan Blazier, a former Bellwood-Antis Junior High wrestling coach accused of sexually assaulting two wrestlers.
Prosecutors say 41-year-old Ryan Blazier of Bellwood was well known in his community, a Sunday school teacher, and an exceptional athlete.
But now he’s facing many rape-related charges after allegations came to light in January 2020 accusing him of sexually abusing two boys on school property.
Court documents show he was charged with felonies: IDSI forcible compulsion, sexual contact with a student, and IDSI of a person less than 16.
Inside the courtroom Tuesday morning, disturbing details of the assaults were described by those called to the stand.
Those who testified included a special education teacher from the school and one of the alleged victim’s stepmothers.
One of the alleged victims, who was 13 years old at the time of the assault, even testified before the jurors.
He said Blazier took him into the wrestling room, locked the door, took off his clothes, and sexually abused him.
The victim said a janitor heard him yell, unlocked the door, and walked in to witness the assault taking place.
Upon the janitor’s arrival, the prosecutor stated that Blazier said, “I’m just trying to toughen him up, nothing to see here.”
The victim also added that Blazier used to be a family friend, who they had known for a long time.
Blair County District Attorney Pete Weeks reminded jurors how difficult it is to talk about a sexual assault with anybody, let alone for this victim to do so in front of 12 jurors, four alternates, and dozens of people in the courtroom.
The second victim told officials that Blazier took him and another into the wrestling room away from the other wrestlers and told them to “wrestle off.”
The prosecutor said Blazier told the boys “there would be hell to pay” if they told anyone and threatened their families.