Connecticut High School Football Coach Charged With Giving Players Access to Porn

Police said a high school assistant football coach has been arrested on charges of giving freshman players the access code to a pornographic website.

Authorities said 40-year-old Michael Pickering of Norwalk turned himself in to Westport officers Thursday after being notified that they held a warrant charging him with three counts of risk of injury to a minor.

Pickering, who has been employed by Staples High School for 10 years, allegedly gave a password to an Internet pornography site to several freshman players. He has been removed from his post, school officials told the Westport News.

Pickering allegedly told police that there were "issues" on the football team and that he had passed on the access code to players as a way to "create camaraderie among members of the team," according to local media reports.

Investigators said the warrant came after they interviewed several Staples High School football players and seized Pickering's computer under a search warrant.

Westport Police Capt. Sam Arciola told the Westport News that several players had accessed the website using the password, though he said he had "no information" about the type of pornography on the site.

The district's superintendent had notified parents Wednesday in an email about the investigation, which the school's student newspaper had reported on its website.

Pickering was released on $50,000 bond. His attorney, James Saraceni of Norwalk, declined to comment Thursday.

Pickering has reportedly been on the high school's coaching staff for nine seasons. He has also coached freshman lacrosse and worked on the high school's maintenance department as a heating and air-conditioning technician.

Pickering is scheduled to appear Nov. 28 in Norwalk Superior Court.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.