High School Basketball Coach Sentenced To 30 Years In Jail After She Had Sexual Relationship With Female Student
Former high school basketball coach Leslie DeWitt was found guilty of two counts of touching a child for lustful purposes, but she was found not guilty on the two more serious charges of sexual battery. On Monday, the former basketball coach was sentenced to 30 years in prison. DeWitt will have to serve every day of the 30-year sentence without the possibility of early release. She will also have to register as a sex offender.
The former Hancock High School girls basketball assistant coach is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old former player. DeWitt was a coach of the team in 2009 and 2010. The 34-year-old married woman was found guilty of molesting the 16-year-old student during the 2009-10 school year.
“The victim testified that DeWitt initially disclosed her feelings for the student in the eighth grade. After years of grooming, the defendant committed various sexual acts of sexual molestation on her over a period of approximately eight months during her sophomore year of high school,” said Assistant District Attorney Chris Daniel.
The student said DeWitt abused her with a sex toy. However, the defense said DeWitt and her husband had bought the sex toy at an adult video store and they produced a bank statement showing the purchase was made three months after the time the student said DeWitt used it on her.
The girl had access to a hidden house key and spent the night at her home.
The victim reported the crime three years later when she was in college.
Prosecutors said DeWitt used her friendship with the girl’s mother to gain access and “prey upon her and abuse her at will.” The coach and student allegedly confided in each other, called and texted often and even took out of town trips together.
During the three-day trial, a friend of the student said DeWitt showed “obsessive behavior” toward the student.
Dewitt claimed allegations of a sexual or inappropriate relationship between them were “absolutely, 100 percent false.”
During Monday’s sentencing, Judge Larry Bourgeois told DeWitt, “You manipulated and took advantage of the trust that was given to you. You show no remorse whatsoever. She’ll be paying for that loss the rest of her life. That loss comes from your hands. The most precious asset in our community is our children. It’s our future. It was entrusted to you. You violated that sacred trust.”