The Latest: Judge delays ex-trainer’s hearing in abuse case
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on a court hearing for a former athletic trainer accused of sexually abusing students (all times local):
A federal magistrate judge has delayed a change-of-plea hearing for a 78-year-old man accused of coercing and enticing underage boys when he was an athletic trainer at Custer County District High School decades ago.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan re-scheduled Friday’s hearing for James Jensen to March 4 after Jensen’s public defender asked for more time because of a new court filing by prosecutors.
Prosecutors say in the filing that Jensen sexually abused students on athletic-related trips to North Dakota and California and pretended he was a teenager online to meet underage boys in the 1990s.
Jensen initially pleaded not guilty to the federal charge of coercion and enticement. Earlier this month, his attorney filed a motion saying Jensen plans to change that plea to guilty without a plea agreement.
Federal prosecutors say a former Montana high school trainer sexually abused students on athletic-related trips to North Dakota and California and pretended he was a teenager online to meet underage boys.
Those allegations against the 78-year-old James Jensen are among the new details revealed before his change-of-plea hearing Friday on a charge of coercion and enticement.
Assistant U.S. attorneys Zeno Baucus and Bryan Dake write in a court document that Jensen told his daughter in 1995 he was just counseling the boys he met online.
Jensen plans to plead guilty without a plea deal. His public defender did not immediately return a call for comment.
Jensen also faces a civil lawsuit filed by dozens of former Miles City students accusing him of sexually abusing them as part of a program he claimed would boost their athletic performance.