Former coach indicted for sexual battery
By Dwayne Bremer
Feb 14, 2014, 20:11
Former high school basketball coach Leslie Danielle DeWitt has been indicted on one count of sexual battery of child and four counts of touching a minor for lustful purposes in Hancock County, but a separate sexual assault charge in Pearl River County has been dismissed.
DeWitt, 32, is a former girl's assistant and head basketball coach at several local area schools.
She was arrested last March after allegations arose that she had allegedly sexually assaulted a female Hancock High School student in 2010.
A few months later, Pearl River County authorities arrested her again for a sexual battery incident which allegedly occurred in that county.
Pearl River County Circuit Clerk Vickie Hariel said Friday that a Pearl River County grand jury heard the case in October and a "No True Bill" was returned.
A "No True Bill" means the grand jury did not find sufficient evidence to issue an indictment and the charge is dropped unless authorities find new evidence. DeWitt's case in Hancock County was presented to a grand jury here earlier this month, and a five-count indictment on Feb. 11.
The indictment was made public on Friday.
It states that between Dec. 1, 2009 to July 30, 2010, Dewitt allegedly engaged improper sexual relations with a person under the age of 18.
In Mississippi, if someone is between 16 and 18 years old, he or she can only legally engage in consensual sex with someone who is less than 36 months older than them.
Since DeWitt was a coach and the alleged victim was a student, DeWitt was in a position of "trust or authority," officials said.
DeWitt will now have to appear in Hancock County Circuit Court for an arraignment hearing in April. At that time, she will have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges.
A trial date will be set if she pleads not guilty.