Married mother-of-two groomed and basketball coach groomed her star player from the 8th grade in Perkinston, Mississippi
She then committed various acts of sexual molestation on the adolescent student, over a period of approximately eight months in 2009-2010 school year
The victim, now a college student, suffered depression and anxiety following the abuse, she confided in her mother
Convicted of sexually molesting the 16-year-old girl student, DeWitt received a 30 year jail sentence
Leslie DeWitt who said during her trial that she and the girl were like sisters will serve every day of the sentence without the possibility of early release
Must register as a sex offender
Leslie Danielle DeWitt mandated to serve every day of her 30 years sentence without the possibility of early release
A married female teacher has been jailed for 30 years after sexually molesting a 16-year-old girl student. Significantly, Leslie DeWitt of Perkinston, Mississippi, will have to serve every day of the sentence without the possibility of early release and must also register as a sex offender.
Former high school basketball coach and mother-of-two, Leslie Danielle DeWitt, was found guilty of molesting the 16-year-old student during the 2009-10 school year.
Leslie DeWitt started grooming her star student from the 8th grade
The student, who was a star player on the team, reported the crime three years later when she was in college and the investigation into the case began in January 2013 when the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the victim’s mother
She said her daughter had confided she was sexually abused during high school, as a consequence she suffered depression and anxiety. The mother had to seek medical treatment for her daughter.
“The victim testified that Dewitt initially disclosed her feelings for the student in the 8th grade,” Assistant District Attorney Chris Daniel said. “After years of grooming, the defendant committed various sexual acts of sexual molestation on her over a period of approximately eight months.”
The former teacher was convicted on two counts of molesting a child for lust purposes but acquitted on two more serious charges of sexual battery.
Addressing the defendant at sentencing, Judge Larry Bourgeois said: “You manipulated and took advantage of the trust that was given to you.
“You show no remorse whatsoever.
“She’ll be paying for that loss the rest of her life. That loss comes from your hands.
“The most precious asset in our community is our children. It’s our future.
“It was entrusted to you. You violated that sacred trust.”
The former Hancock High assistant basketball coach testifies in her own defense in Circuit Court during the trial
DeWitt was a teacher and assistant basketball coach at Hancock High School
The student said DeWitt abused her with a sex toy and she reported the crime three years later when she was in college. After suffering depression and anxiety following the abuse, the victim confided in her mother, who then tipped off police
DeWitt told her trial that she and the girl were like sisters., that they confided in each other, called and texted often and even took out of town trips together.She also said the girl had access to a hidden house key and spent the night at her home.
DeWitt’s head droops in court as the verdict is read
Her attorney, Jim Davis, criticized the prosecution’s case for having a “lack of physical evidence,”
Addressing the court, he said the entire evidence amounted to a sex toy and some pornographic DVD cases found in the her bedroom and there was reasonable doubt as to the victim’s testimony that Leslie DeWitt abused her with the sex toy.
Mr. Davis said DeWitt and her husband had bought it at an adult video store. He produced a bank statement indicating the purchase was made three months after the time the student said DeWitt used it on her.
However, the prosecution statement pointed out that the receipt did not specify what particular item was bought.
A friend of the victim’s said coach DeWitt showed “obsessive behavior” toward the student.
Prosecutor Chris Daniel revealed that “The victim testified that Dewitt initially disclosed her feelings for the student in the 8th grade, and “After years of grooming, the defendant committed various sexual acts of sexual molestation on her over a period of approximately eight months.”