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Child sexual assault charges loom for Madison school coach

A Wisconsin defendant's life can change for the worse even before the person is charged with a crime. An individual under investigation or arrested for sexual misconduct may suffer serious damage to his or her personal and professional life before an arraignment, a plea, a trial or a conviction.

A Madison high school basketball coach was suspended in February after his employer learned of allegations of child sexual assault. That was the month a 30-year-old woman, a former Wisconsin resident now living out of state, told Madison police she had a long-term sexual relationship with the man starting when she was 13. The teen was on a neighborhood basketball team coached by the defendant.

The woman told authorities she decided to report the assault in hopes of preventing the now 43-year-old man from targeting other victims. Madison police reported other victims have made accusations against the suspended coach.

The alleged assault victim said the relationship developed slowly, starting with conversations about the teen's rough home life. Soon, the girl started receiving gifts from the coach, then in his late twenties, including a cellphone. The girl was 13 when the two reportedly first had sex, a pattern that allegedly continued until she was 17.

The woman said she wanted to break away from the relationship, but the coach convinced her that spilling secrets would cause trouble. The man surrendered to police in late April when the defendant was informed an arrest was imminent, and was released on bail a few days later to await arraignment.

The Wisconsin statutes of limitations for child sex crimes vary. Legal proceedings for some crimes must occur before an alleged victim reaches age 45. There are no time limits for other child-related sex offense claims.

Criminal defense attorneys know defendants' consequences often begin long before a verdict. Lawyers do everything possible to lessen the hardships defendants face, now and in the future.

Source: WiscNews, "Basketball coach groomed 13-year-old into 'full-blown sexual relationship'," Ed Trelevent, May. 20, 2015

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