Wrestling coach charged in connection to hazing incident in southwest Ohio

(Franklin Police Department)
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An Ohio wrestling coach faces accusations he failed to stop a 14-year old juvenile from being hazed during a wrestling camp last summer.

Franklin, Ohio police have charged 58-year-old Bart Freidenberg with two misdemeanor charges of endangering children and hazing. According to police, he turned himself in Friday night and was released on his own recognizance.

According to the Franklin Division of Police, the Ohio All Stars Wrestling Team based out of Columbus rented the Franklin City Schools facilities in June of 2018 - a few days before leaving Ohio for a six-week wrestling tour on the west coast. During the practices, one of the 14-year old wrestlers called his parents to come pick him up early. Once the family picked him up, “it was found that the juvenile was a victim of a hazing incident,” according to a statement from Franklin police.

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The incident was reported to police in early July. Charges were filed this month.

Reached by phone, Freidenberg told 10 Investigates: “I’d love to be able to say something, but (my attorney) told me not to say anything.”

He referred additional questions to his attorney, Mark Minister, who told 10 Investigates that Freidenberg: “is a wonderful human being” and that “our comment is no comment.”

Minister did say that Freidenberg has been involved in the wrestling world for 35 years.

Freidenberg served as the assistant wrestling coach at Bexley Middle School during the 2017-2018 school year. He was also head coach of the middle school wrestling team from 1993 to 1995 and was co-head coach during the 1992-1993 school year.

Police are looking for more potential victims. If anyone has information about this hazing incident or has been a victim of hazing through the Columbus-based Ohio All-Stars Wrestling Team, you should call Detective David Hatfield of the Franklin Police Department at 937-746-2882.

Freidenberg is set to appear in court May 21.

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