BILLINGS (AP) — A magistrate judge says he wants a better explanation from prosecutors about their case before he accepts a guilty plea from a former high school athletic trainer accused of coercing minors.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan re-scheduled Tuesday’s change-of-plea hearing for 78-year-old James “Doc” Jensen for Feb. 19.
Jensen had been set to plead guilty to a federal charge of coercion and enticement.
But the Billings Gazette reports Cavan questioned whether government attorneys proved their argument that Jensen’s use of the internet related directly to coercion or enticement of a person Jensen believed to be a minor.
The charge against Jensen is connected to accusations in a pending civil lawsuit by former Miles City students that he sexually abused them from the 1970s through the 1990s.
Jensen wasn’t charged with abuse because the statute of limitations had expired.