Former coach accused of abusing female player


TORRINGTON – A former Southeast High School girls’ basketball coach is reportedly free on $20,000 bond after being charged last month with allegedly having sex with a former player in May.
Michael Booth, 36, pled not guilty in Goshen County District Court on Thursday to a charge of sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree by a person in position of authority.
According to court documents, Booth and a female minor, during separate interviews with law enforcement personnel in October, confirmed that sexual intercourse had occurred in the girl’s vehicle near the Pavilion at the Goshen County Fairgrounds in early
May 2017.
In an affidavit of probable cause filed Oct. 20, both Booth and his alleged victim, who was listed in court documents as 16-years-old, were interviewed separately by Goshen County Sheriff’s investigators over a two-day period. Booth told investigators the victim was a former player, according to the affidavit.
Booth said he had since resigned his coaching position with the school district.
Booth was listed in court documents as being 35-years-old at the time of the alleged encounter. During the interview, he reportedly told investigators he knew that sex with the teenager was wrong.
During a later interview with the same Sheriff’s Office representatives, the girl confirmed that Booth had been her basketball coach. She also said she had felt “pressured” to have sexual intercourse with him, according to court documents. The girl also said Booth took her to a basketball camp in June, where he allegedly told her he was having marital problems at that time.
A warrant for Booth’s arrest was issued Oct. 20, and served on Oct. 21.
Booth had previously waived a preliminary hearing before Judge Randall Arp in the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court in Torrington on Nov. 8, and was released on a $20,000 appearance bond.
During his arraignment on Thursday, Booth entered the not guilty plea. Booth is represented by Laramie attorney Cole N. Sherard. Goshen County is represented by Kenneth T. Brown, Goshen County and Prosecuting Attorney.
A pre-trial conference is scheduled for March 2018, at the Goshen County Courthouse. A jury trial is set for April 2018, in the District Courtroom.
If convicted, Booth could face a maximum sentence of 15 years
in prison.


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