In an attempt to gather evidence that Corona del Mar High School Coach Mark Aubrey Schuster was molesting his stepdaughter, police helped her fabricate a story about having gonorrhea and then taped the conversation between the two, according to court documents filed Monday.
Schuster, 48, fell for the ruse and worried aloud how his new girlfriend would take the news, according to documents filed in Harbor Municipal Court on Monday by police requesting a warrant to search Schuster's Newport Beach home and reporting the results of that search.
During the conversation, the stepdaughter told Schuster she was required to give the Health Care Agency the names of all her sexual partners, and Schuster responded: "We discussed that, and we can't do that."
Schuster was arrested after the conversation and charged with 16 felony counts of lewd acts against his stepdaughter dating back six years. He also was suspended last week from his job as head football coach.
In the taped conversation, Schuster worried that telling his new girlfriend about the gonorrhea would ruin their relationship, and he flirted with the idea of lying to her.
"He was quite concerned about how to explain the gonorrhea to [her]. He further advised the victim not to tell her boyfriend, as it would ruin that relationship," according to a statement by police. "He advised the victim that he may tell [his girlfriend] that he had met a girl at Hooters to explain the gonorrhea."
Also, when his stepdaughter expressed her wish to stop the relationship, Schuster said he had made a commitment to his new girlfriend and that "anything else is over with that you had to worry about," according to the court documents.
The girl went to police this month, just after she turned 18. She told them she had waited until now because she feared remaining in his custody after reporting him. Schuster had legally adopted her while he was married to her mother and had gained custody after their divorce.
The teen-ager told police that he would expect "payments" of sex in return for gifts or as punishment for bad grades.
In the taped conversation between them, Schuster appears to acknowledge the payment arrangement, and he blames his stepdaughter.
When she says that she is "tired of all the payments," he responds, "That's done. I told you, don't worry about that. You made those deals. . . . I didn't realize you were having a problem with it, because you initiated things."
Schuster's attorney, James DiCesare, could not be reached late Monday for comment, but Schuster has denied molesting his stepdaughter.
Seized from Schuster's home last week were photographs showing his stepdaughter topless and in G-string panties, as well as pictures of her fully clothed. Also confiscated were the quilt, blanket, sheets and pillow cases from Schuster's bed, a pair of metal handcuffs and a terry cloth belt behind the bed.
A camera bag, lenses, flashes and film were taken from his car. From his office at the high school, police seized divorce and marriage documents, an envelope containing white pills and a school football roster, according to the court documents.
For eight years, Schuster had been the girl's only father figure, she said in the court documents, and the two had been close. He, in turn, had said she was his reason for living. And even while reporting him to the police, she feared Schuster would lose his job or that he might hurt himself.
Police said in the documents that the stepdaughter was bothered when Schuster would emotionally shut her out if she refused sex.
"His stepdaughter said Schuster would joke about them having sex and if she refused, he would not talk to her," according to a statement by police. "She found it easier to give in and have sex than to get into a conversation with him about it."
Newport Beach has been rocked by the arrest and scandal surrounding the popular coach. Well known for inspiring students and athletes with stories about his participation in the Vietnam War, Schuster was admired for urging his students to have discipline and character. But military officials last week said Schuster was in the California National Guard and never served overseas.
Schuster is free on bail and scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 2.