Police: Blaine girls' basketball coach seen engaged in sex with ninth-grader

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH and MARIA ELENA BACA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 29, 2012 - 9:43 AM

The 20-year-old woman and the teen were discovered at a park, and both told officers they were in a relationship.

A coach for the Blaine High School ninth-grade girls' basketball team was found engaged in sexual activity with one of her players in a vehicle at a city park this week, the Anoka County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

The 20-year-old woman from St. Paul was arrested Monday night and jailed on suspicion of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Authorities say they expect a decision by Thursday on whether to file charges.

The coach and the 14-year-old girl both told officers they were in a sexual relationship, police added.

According to the Sheriff's Office, a Blaine police officer patrolling near Jefferson Park about 9 p.m. noticed a vehicle in a parking lot not far from the high school. The officer checked on the vehicle and discovered the woman and the girl "involved in sexual activity." The girl told police that the two of them have been "dating" for about the past month.

Anoka-Hennepin School District spokesman Brett Johnson said Wednesday that the woman's duties as a co-coach for the ninth-grade team ran from Nov. 14 until the season ended March 17. She also helped with the girls' junior varsity and varsity teams, handling scorekeeping and other support roles, Johnson said.

She cleared the usual background checks for prospective employees, he said. It was her first year working for the district. She was paid nearly $4,000 and had no other duties there, he said. She remains an employee of the district but has been placed on administrative leave, Johnson said.

There is no indication her colleagues or superiors knew of any sexual relationship, but the district will conduct its own investigation, Johnson said.

The national website iHigh.com, which gets its information from participating schools, said the woman previously coached ninth-graders at St. Paul Highland Park, where she attended and played basketball.

Before being hired at Blaine, the woman worked two summers for St. Paul Parks and Recreation, spokesman Brad Meyer said. Her duties mostly revolved around park maintenance and "interactions with kids would be few and far between," Meyer said.

mbaca@startribune.com • 612-673-4409 pwalsh@startribune.com • 612-673-4482

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