AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) – A man who used to coach softball in Auburn appeared in court virtually Thursday from the DeKalb County Jail, where he had been booked on charges of child seduction and stalking.
Steve Kaufman, 50, is accused of inappropriately touching multiple girls ages 14 and under on a travel softball team he created as well as showing up at one girl’s home to yell at her and her parents when she did not respond to social media messages he sent her, according to DeKalb Superior Court documents.
DeKalb County prosecutors formally charged Kaufman with a Level 3 felony child seduction charge as well as a Level 5 felony child seduction charge and a Level 6 felony count of stalking earlier this week.
Kaufman’s charges stem from incidents that happened between January 2021 and February 2022, according to court documents.
He’s accused of finding ways to inappropriately touch the girls when he’d hug them and he’d also bombard them with inappropriate messages on social media apps, court documents said.
One girl told investigators he ended up coming to her family’s home and berating her and her parents after she did not respond to his Snapchat messages quickly enough, according to court documents.
Multiple girls told investigators he would bench them or decrease their playing time if they did not message him through Snapchat fast enough.
After forming and disbanding his team, dubbed Indiana RIP IT, Kaufman moved to North Carolina.
According to The Star newspaper run by KPC Meda, Kaufman’s attorney said he immediately left North Carolina to come to Indiana to face the charges. He turned himself in at the DeKalb County Jail once he arrived, his attorney told the newspaper.
Kaufman’s attorney also told The Star that her client is the primary person of support for his family and asked that he be allowed to return to North Carolina after posting bond.
A DeKalb County judge set Kaufman’s bond at $30,000 and ordered him to appear at all hearings held in Indiana, The Star reported.
Kaufman’s next hearing is scheduled for July 17.