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Dirty Secrets case file: Wally Love

Tuesday, November 02, 1999

By Jane Elizabeth Zemel, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

When Wally Love was suspended from his job at West Memphis High School in Arkansas after being accused of assaulting a cheerleader, it didn't impede his career.

While awaiting trial, he got a job as a junior high basketball coach, special education and health teacher at Palestine-Wheatley School District, just an hour away.

His new superintendent, who knew about Love's arrest, called Love "a great asset to our school." But so many parents complained about Love's hiring that eventually he left that job, too. The school said they'd take him back, depending on the outcome of his trial.

In Love's first trial last year, the jury deadlocked 7-5 in favor of a conviction.

At a new trial last month, the former cheerleader, now 19, said that she had become ill at school one day and Love offered to drive her home to get her medicine. That's when Love, then dean of students, attacked her, she testified.

Love, 41, was convicted of sexual violation of a minor and sentenced to three years in prison.

Love's attorney, Sam Perkins of Memphis, Tenn., has filed an appeal. Love is out on bond, and, according to Perkins, is working at a boys club.

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