A coach for the Blaine High School ninth-grade girls' basketball team was charged Thursday with sexually assaulting one of her players in a vehicle at a park near the school.
Jenessa White, 20, of St. Paul, appeared in Anoka County District Court and was charged with second- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct. She remains jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Police say that White and the 14-year-old girl both told officers at the time of the arrest Monday night that they were in a sexual relationship.
According to the criminal complaint:
A police officer checked on a vehicle with fogged-up windows in the Jefferson Park parking lot about 8 p.m. The officer saw that White and the girl were naked from the waist down.
White, who at first gave her age to the officer as 16, said she had sexual contact with the girl's breasts and genitals. The girl told the officer that the contact included penetration.
The girl also told police that the two have been "dating" for about the past month and have had multiple sexual encounters in that time.
The Anoka-Hennepin School District said White's duties as a co-coach for the ninth-grade team ran from Nov. 14 until the season ended March 17. In her first year working for the district, she also helped with the girls' junior varsity and varsity teams in support roles. She cleared the usual background checks for prospective employees, the district added.
She remains an employee but has been placed on administrative leave, the district said.
The national website iHigh.com, which gets its information from participating schools, said White previously coached ninth-graders at St. Paul Highland Park, where she attended and played basketball.
White also is a kinesiology major at the University of Minnesota and was a member for the past two seasons on the rowing team. She is not on the team this season.
Before being hired at Blaine, White worked two summers for St. Paul Parks and Recreation and mostly handled maintenance duties.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482