Victim, supporters speak about Dan Whitehead before former Brophy Prep teacher sentenced

PHOENIX - A judge continued the sentencing hearing for a former Brophy Prep teacher and coach who has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Dan Whitehead was arrested and charged in 2012 after several former students came forward accusing the long-time teacher of sexually abusing them.

The allegations date back to the 80s.

“He befriended me. He made me trust him,” said victim Patrick O’Dowd.

O’Dowd told a judge he wanted to be identified because he wanted him to know exactly what Whitehead did to him.

“He took away my trust in adults in one night,” O’Dowd said.

O’Dowd also stated for the last 44 years, he’s had trouble maintaining relationships and has relived the night Whitehead sexually assaulted him many times.

“For a long time I blamed myself. I finally got the courage to come forward, tell police, because what he did was wrong,” O’Dowd said.

The state testified there were more victims, but statutory limitation prevented Whitehead from facing those charges.

Several supporters of Whitehead spoke of his character, his daughter crying to a judge that her father is too sick to spend time in jail.

“His health has been deteriorating,” said Laura Whitehead.

Another parent and grandparent of children that have and still attend Brophy say Whitehead was an amazing mentor.

“This is not the man that I have known for the last 45 years,” said Audry Firth.

As part of the plea deal, Whitehead would have to register as a sex offender. The state is asking the judge to also sentence Whitehead to jail time.

Hearings continue Monday at 10:15 a.m.

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