- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 12, 2019

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on a former Montana athletic trainer’s court appearance: (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

A former Montana athletic trainer accused of sexually abusing students has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of coercion and enticement.

James “Doc” Jensen Jr. of Miles City changed his plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Missoula. He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced July 30 in Billings.

Prosecutors say the 79-year-old Jensen took information from the internet to develop what he called “The Program” that he used to coerce young boys into sexual activity by saying it would boost their athletic performance.



Jensen was a trainer at Custer County District High School in Miles City from the 1970s until about 1998.

He also faces state charges related to possession of child pornography and a civil lawsuit filed by former students.

___

11:10 a.m.

A former Montana athletic trainer accused of sexually abusing students is set to appear in court to plead guilty to a federal charge of coercion and enticement.

James “Doc” Jensen’s change-of-plea hearing scheduled for Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Missoula comes without a deal with federal prosecutors. The 79-year-old Miles City man faces up to 15 years in federal prison.

Prosecutors say Jensen persuaded boys to join what he called “The Program” to boost their athletic performance, and then abused them.

The alleged abuse happened between the 1970s and the 1990s. The federal charge is related to his use of the internet and telephones to coerce students to engage in sexual activity in the 1990s.

The investigation into Jensen began after dozens of alleged victims filed a lawsuit against him and the Custer County school district.

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