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The Latest: Judge delays ex-trainer’s hearing in abuse case

February 21, 2019
FILE - This Dec. 13, 2018, file photo provided by the Custer County Sheriff's Office shows James "Doc" Jensen Jr. in Miles City, Mont. Jensen, a former Montana high school athletic trainer accused of sexually abusing students, plans to plead guilty to a federal charge of coercion and enticement. (Custer County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on a court hearing for a former athletic trainer accused of sexually abusing students (all times local):

4:10 p.m.

A federal magistrate judge has delayed a change-of-plea hearing for a 78-year-old man accused of coercing and enticing underage boys when he was an athletic trainer at Custer County District High School decades ago.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan re-scheduled Friday’s hearing for James Jensen to March 4 after Jensen’s public defender asked for more time because of a new court filing by prosecutors.

Prosecutors say in the filing that Jensen sexually abused students on athletic-related trips to North Dakota and California and pretended he was a teenager online to meet underage boys in the 1990s.

Jensen initially pleaded not guilty to the federal charge of coercion and enticement. Earlier this month, his attorney filed a motion saying Jensen plans to change that plea to guilty without a plea agreement.

11:10 a.m.

Federal prosecutors say a former Montana high school trainer sexually abused students on athletic-related trips to North Dakota and California and pretended he was a teenager online to meet underage boys.

Those allegations against the 78-year-old James Jensen are among the new details revealed before his change-of-plea hearing Friday on a charge of coercion and enticement.

Assistant U.S. attorneys Zeno Baucus and Bryan Dake write in a court document that Jensen told his daughter in 1995 he was just counseling the boys he met online.

Jensen plans to plead guilty without a plea deal. His public defender did not immediately return a call for comment.

Jensen also faces a civil lawsuit filed by dozens of former Miles City students accusing him of sexually abusing them as part of a program he claimed would boost their athletic performance.