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BC-US--Montana School-Sex Abuse,1st Ld, US

March 11, 2019
Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A former athletic trainer charged with abusing numerous Montana students over decades under the guise of improving their athletic performance is due to plead guilty to a federal coercion charge.

James “Doc” Jensen Jr. is scheduled to appear Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in Missoula.

The 79-year-old Miles City man faces up to 15 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors say he used the internet and other means to persuade high school students to join what Jensen called “The Program” and then systematically abused them.

One former Custer County District High School student and alleged victim said Jensen told boys in puberty that they would grow stronger by submitting to his abuse.

Jensen’s defense attorney says it’s in his client’s best interest to plead guilty but declined further comment.