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High school coach accused of having sex with underage girl

SALEM, Ore. - A high school coach faces charges for having sex with an underage girl at Jefferson High School in Jefferson, Ore., a Marion County Sheriff's Office spokesman said.

Scott Leonard Zeigler was arrested at West Albany High School on Thursday afternoon on three charges of third-degree rape and three charges of sodomy. He is currently an educational assistant and coaches several girls sports teams at the school.

Samantha Siegner is on the girls basketball team at West Albany, where Zeigler went after resigning from Jefferson -- a resignation the Jefferson High School athletic director wasn't in any way controversial.

"He always conducted himself in a professional manner, at least around me and our basketball teams, it seemed like," Siegner said. "I was completely shocked. He was one of the last people I would ever think would be in a position like this. Obviously, this is just really, really sad for the family and I hope it all gets sorted out."

In this rural area, the connections run deep. From West Albany's athletic director to the high school principal.

"I was his math teacher when he was in high school, so I've known him for a long time," said West Albany principal Susie Orsborn.

Zeigler worked at Jefferson High School from 2008 until 2010 where he was the head coach of the girls basketball team.

Investigators said he started having sexual contact with the victim in 2009 when she was 15 years old. The girl told detectives she and Zeigler had sexual encounters at Jefferson High School and at other locations in Albany and Linn County, according to Marion County Sheriff's Office spokesman Don Thompson.

Recovered text messages are being used as evidence of the abuse, investigators said.

Jim Haggart of the Albany Public School District said they have no information about any inappropriate contact with students in that school district.

Zeigler is currently being held at the Marion County Jail. Bail set at $35,000.

As of yet, no other students have come forward from West Albany or Jefferson High Schools. Officials from both schools are encouraging students to speak with school councilors to report any other instances of possible inappropriate contact with Zeigler.

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