Appeals court upholds sexual abuse verdict of former coach

A state appeals court says it won’t overturn the conviction of a former Mississippi high school basketball coach for molesting a player.

The Mississippi Court of Appeals ruled today that Leslie Dewitt’s convictions for touching a child for lustful purposes will stand. The 36-year-old Dewitt is serving a 30-year prison sentence, currently at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl.

Dewitt taught at Hancock High School and was an assistant coach on the girls’ basketball team. The victim was a player. At trial, prosecutors said Dewitt groomed the player for years before touching her while the player was spending the night at Dewitt’s house beginning in 2009.

Dewitt argued she should get a new trial because one juror had lived in Hancock County less than the year required. Judges disagreed.

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