Northfield wrestling coach facing child abuse charges

A Northfield wrestling coach is facing several abuse charges, as court documents allege at least one of the victims was beaten as punishment for how they performed athletically. 

Jesse Graber, 48, faces six misdemeanor charges related to two separate incidents in which he allegedly abused an 18-year-old with an electrical cord and a child with a belt.

According to court documents, an 18-year-old told police in October 2023 that Graber "whipped him with a vacuum cord" for several hours. Police documented many marks on his buttocks, and a large area of buttocks that "looked raw with missing skin."

A few months later, in February 2024, deputies received a report that Graber had abused a child. The victim told investigators that Graber was "upset with [their] performance in a wrestling match."

The child told investigators they would enjoy sports more if they did not have to worry that she would get disciplined for not performing well.

Last month, Graber was charged with two counts of violating a no-contact order after someone reported that he was routinely in violation of the order, but the victims were too afraid of retaliation to report it.

USA Wrestling revoked Graber’s membership following an investigation. An online database shows he’s not eligible for reinstatement.

Graber is a well-known name in the Minnesota wrestling community and was involved in starting Summit Wrestling Academy in Northfield. Current owner Tyler Faust told FOX 9 that Graber is no longer involved in the gym. 

Summit Wrestling Academy's full statement: 

"Jesse Graber is not a coach at Summit Wrestling Academy. He has never coached in an official capacity at the academy. The charges against Graber are related to personal decisions he made that did not occur on Summit property. Those charges do not implicate Summit or Summit’s staff in any way. Summit Wrestling Academy does not condone or tolerate child abuse or domestic abuse in any form, and the coaches will continue to prioritize providing a safe environment and excellent coaching to all wrestlers who come through Summit’s doors. Graber’s actions in no way represent Summit’s values or mission."