Ron Gorman, 53, was sentenced Tuesday in Cobb County Superior Court on two counts of aggravated child molestation. He pled guilty in 2017 to similar charges in Pennsylvania. Though he’s accused of using his coaching position to target boys in Georgia, the Cobb charges are due to Gorman flying one of his Pennsylvania victims down in 2010 and molesting the then 14-year-old boy in his Marietta home.
According to Chuck Boring, Cobb County assistant district attorney, accusations date back decades.
After the investigation began in Pennsylvania, “they developed several victims. Many of them, the statute of limitations had already run. The defendant had done sexual acts with them back in the 80s. A couple of them were actually deceased at that point. However, there are a couple of young adult males who were still within the statute of limitations who disclosed abuse at the hands of Mr. Gorman between 2006 and 2009 up in Pennsylvania as a part of his role in mentoring and coaching these youth,” Boring said.
After he relocated in 2009, Gorman became a volunteer coach with Pope Junior Wrestling, a feeder program for the Pope High School Wrestling Program, a coach at Life University, a parent volunteer with Pope High School’s wrestling program, and a board member of Team Georgia Wrestling.
Judge Gregory Poole sentenced him to serve 20 years with an additional five years of probation on two counts of aggravated child molestation. The sentences will run concurrently with each other and concurrently with his sentence of 20-40 years in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.
Boring said during the sentencing that this charge usually carries a mandatory sentence of 25 years to serve in confinement. However, in 2017 he was contacted by Pennsylvania prosecutors wanting to “resolve the cases in conjunction with each other” in order to save the victims the trauma of having to testify. In exchange for concurrent 20-year sentences for the charges here, Gorman agreed to plead guilty to charges in Pennsylvania. His first opportunity for parole will come when he is 73 years old.
A Cobb mom whose son was coached by Gorman delivered a victim impact statement at the hearing.
“I trusted that my son would be safe at school and at school activities and sports such as wrestling. I trusted that my son would learn discipline, character skills, athletic skills, and that he was training to be a champion. The best he could be. I thought this sport would help him grow and become a better person, a better young man. I never dreamed that his trust would be broken, that you would crush his spirit, elicit anger like I’ve never seen, leave him feeling violated and confused, destroying his innocence for all your own deviant sexual desires. How dare you, Ron Gorman!” Jaquelyn (last name withheld for her son’s safety) said to Gorman, who remained facing the judge, with his back to her. “You were only able to get away with this all these years because of your enablers. People who turned a blind eye to your inappropriate behaviors.”
She also shared details of her son’s struggle, including having to change high schools, dropping grades, mood swings and losing his scholarship.
A family supporter in the courtroom left voluntarily after yelling, “You’re the devil, Ron Gorman. Rot in hell!”
Jaquelyn was a key figure in bringing Gorman to justice. She became concerned in 2011 when she found a disturbing message from him to her then 12-year-old son on Facebook. She thought when Gorman was finally arrested, more people would believe her, but instead, she says harassment, cruel comments and nasty messages didn’t abate until the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran their investigation earlier this year, corroborating many of her claims.
Jaquelyn hasn’t given up hope that Georgia victims will also receive justice and made plans to meet with the ADA in January before leaving the courthouse.