- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - The girls’ basketball coach at Lone Peak High School in Big Sky is charged with having sexual relationships with two of his players.

Cyle Keith Kokot, 22, was arrested Friday on suspicion of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent. He appeared in court via video from jail on Tuesday, where Justice of the Peace Bryan Adams set bail at $250,000. Adams called the charges “predatory in nature.”

Defense attorney Alex Jacobi asked that bail be set at $30,000 so Kokot could work while the case is ongoing.

Kokot did not enter a plea. A preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 19.

Charging documents say a girl and her parents spoke with Big Sky School District Superintendent Jerry House and Gallatin County sheriff’s deputies on Friday. The girl said she began an intimate relationship with Kokot in January and that he raped her in February or March. The girl identified a second player who told officials she began a sexual relationship with Kokot in the summer of 2013.

Kokot spoke with investigators voluntarily, without an attorney present, and said he had been in relationships with both girls, but he said the sex was consensual. He said he was aware the girls were 14 and 16 at the time.

Kokot coached the Ophir Middle School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams during the 2012-13 school year and coached the Lone Peak High girls’ basketball team to a 7-12 record during the 2013-14 season.

“It is incomprehensible to us as a school and a community that this alleged behavior could occur,” House said in a statement Monday. He said counselors will be available at school-district locations when classes begin on Wednesday and again on Thursday and Friday.

Kokut has been suspended without pay pending a school board hearing, House said. The Livingston native had been hired to coach the middle school boys’ and girls’ and the high school girls’ basketball team and work two hours a day as a lunch-room aide, House said.

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