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Ashland ex-swim coach gets 40 months after reconnecting with victim

A former Ashland High School volunteer swim coach convicted last year of having a sexual relationship with an underage team member is headed to prison after reconnecting with her over the Internet and trying to lure her to Georgia.

Camren Mitzel, 26, pleaded guilty Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court to second-degree online sexual corruption of a child and violating his probation. He was sentenced to 40 months in prison and three years' post-prison supervision, according to Deputy District Attorney Terry Smith-Norton.

An original charge of first-degree online sexual corruption of a child was dismissed, court records show.

Mitzel was arrested in late September after he moved to Georgia and contacted the 16-year-old victim, both violations of his probation. He and the girl communicated through social media sites and text messages, Smith-Norton said. According to an indictment, the communication occurred between Jan. 1 and Aug. 12.

"He basically convinced her to get on a bus and come be with him," Smith-Norton said, adding the girl's father found out about the plans. The girl made it to Arizona before the plan was thwarted, she said.

In the original case, Mitzel was arrested on four counts of third-degree rape and second-degree sexual abuse for his relationship with the girl, who was then 14, in 2013. He pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, for which he was sentenced to five years of probation.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.

Ashland ex-swim coach gets 40 months after reconnecting with victim