Former HHS coach arrested for sexual battery of student
By Dwayne Bremer
Mar 15, 2013, 19:37
Leslie Danielle DeWitt
A former girl's assistant basketball coach at Hancock High School was arrested Friday for allegedly committing sexual battery on a female student.
Sheriff's Office Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan said that Leslie Danielle DeWitt, 31, was arrested without incident Friday morning at her home in Perkinston. She was charged with three counts of sexual battery while being in a position of trust or authority.
The victim was 16 years-old took place, according to a statement from the sheriff's office.
In Mississippi, the age of legal consent is 16; however, if the perpetrator is "in a position of trust or authority," the consent age is 18, officials said.
DeWitt, a former assistant coach for the Lady Hawks basketball team, left Hancock after the 2010-2011 season to take an assistant coaching job at another Coast school.
This year, she was the head coach at Pearl River Central High School, but abruptly resigned in January.
The charges stem from incidents which allegedly occurred when DeWitt was employed at Hancock High and the victim was a student at the school, officials said.
Sheriff Ricky Adam said Friday that his office was made aware of the allegations earlier this year and conducted a full investigation into the matter.
"The girl was having difficulty in dealing with things, and in talking with her parents, the allegations came to light," Sheriff Ricky Adam said Friday.
DeWitt was booked at the Hancock County Public Safety Complex on Friday and her bond was set at $300,000 by Justice Court Judge Tommy Carver.
It was unclear Friday whether she had yet retained an attorney.
Hancock County Schools Superintendent Alan Dedeaux said Friday that he is aware of DeWitt's arrest, but he could not comment on it.
"It is our understanding that this is still under investigation," Dedeaux said. "We feel that it is not appropriate to make a statement at this time."
Adam said the case remains under investigation and he asked anyone who has any information regarding the case to call the sheriff's office at (228) 466-6910 or HCSO Central Dispatch at (228) 255-9191.