KILN, MISSISSIPPI — Leslie Danielle DeWitt was found guilty of coaching a 16-year-old female student on more than just sports, and will soon spend the rest of her life in jail for it.
The Herald Sun reports that the former basketball coach from Hancock High School in Mississippi reportedly lusted after the student since the latter was in middle school, and gave the pupil private basketball lessons.
DeWitt grew close to the student’s family over the years. The girl’s mother said she often allowed her daughter to sleep over at the house DeWitt shared with her husband and young son. It was during one of these sleepovers that the coach began taking advantage of the student, and allegedly abused her with a sex toy.
The coach’s obsession with her prodigy was apparent, raising concerns from both the girl’s friends and school officials, who asked her to cease contact with her pupil. DeWitt later played off the concerns to the student’s mother, saying it resulted from “internal drama” in the basketball program.
It wasn’t until years later, when the student was already in college, that she broke down and confessed about the ordeal. Her mother reported the case to the authorities, and DeWitt was put on trial. She was eventually found guilty of two counts of unlawful touching of a child for lustful purposes, and sentenced to 15-years in prison for each count.
The ex-coach will need to serve the entirety of her sentences consecutively, and is not eligible for early release or parole.