When a teenager participates in an extracurricular school activity in Wisconsin, they may spend quite a bit of time with their coach or advisor. During this time, a relationship may develop that means something different to each person. When the teacher is a man and the student is female, there are times where the situation turns romantic and may even involve some type of physical affection. When charges of sexual assault are made, it’s important to focus on the evidence, and not on the emotion with which either party tells the story.
According to a 17-year-old girl and the story she told the jury in her basketball coach’s sexual assault trial, the coach initiated a sexual relationship with her when she was only 15. She claims she had sexual contact with the coach three times over a period of several months after they developed a personal relationship by texting with a cell phone he gave her.
The coach claims he was concerned about the girl and her suicidal tendencies, and he gave her the phone for times when she was feeling upset. He claims the only physical contact he had with the student was when he kissed her on the cheek.
It may be tempting to jump to conclusions in situations such as these, but it’s important to remember that appropriate concern from the coach may have been construed by the teenage girl as something more. As the jury deliberates, they may need to focus on the physical evidence more than the girl’s story to make the right decision regarding the coach’s future.
Source: FOX, “UPDATE: Alleged victim testifies in Marathon Co. sexual assault trial,” Robert Imrie, June 24, 2013