Kevin Strasser, former Oregon City High School football coach, was sentenced as part of a plea deal Tuesday to 18 months of probation and 60 hours of community service for stealing and pawning a students jewel-encrusted Ice Time watch, a Class A misdemeanor.
Strasser, 43, also agreed Dec. 17 to resign his position in OCHSs physical education department and give up his teaching certification. Clackamas County prosecutor Michael Wu said the fact that Strasser was a teacher and had no previous criminal history was taken into account for his receiving only five days jail time and credit for time served.
Oregon City residents and school-district officials had been shocked and saddened by the news of Strassers Aug. 20 arrest after the football team had shown improvement under his leadership starting in 2011. Superintendent Larry Didway immediately suspended Strasser pending outcome of this case.
OCHS senior Cameron Rogers had asked Strasser June 12, the last day of the school year, whether Strasser had seen the $600 wristwatch he lost during gym class. Rogers then described the watch to Strasser and was upset that he had lost something that he had saved up to purchase.
When police asked Strasser at his Oak Grove home why he did not put the watch in Lost and Found or give it back to Rogers, Strasser told officers: I feel like an embarrassed jackass I get that Im wrong. I get that I broke the law.
A friend of Rogers saw his missing watch at Gladstones A-1 Hawk pawnshop Aug. 20, so they called Oregon City police. OCPDs investigation revealed that Strasser had pawned two watches on June 12 at 12:51 p.m., just after Rogers had been looking for his watch. Strasser received $30 for both watches.
After he was released on bail Aug. 21, Strasser called fellow teacher Kenrik Lynch and told him that he had to get something off of his chest. Strasser said he had pawned the watch because he needed money, and he used the money to hit a bucket of balls.
Strassers attorney, James Jensen, said he may comment later this week, and if he does so, the Oregon City News will update this story.