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Former high school wrestling coach indicted for sexual battery of a minor

Crime Watch

EDITOR’S NOTE: The story contains graphic details. Reader discretion is advised.

BLACKFOOT — A Teton County grand jury has indicted a former wrestling coach for sexual battery of a minor.

Jeffrey Gregg Wilkes was a teacher, wrestling and football coach at Teton High School in Teton School District 401.

Wilkes was arrested in Bingham County on the Teton County warrant Friday. He was charged with two counts of sexual battery of a minor child for incidents that allegedly happened five years ago.

According to a news release from the Teton County Prosecuting Attorney, Wilkes was 29 years old when he had sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl in December 2017. The indictment says he placed himself on top of the teen and performed wrestling moves on her as she was lying face-down on the floor grading papers. He allegedly pressed his genitals into her body and ejaculated, according to the indictment.

Wilkes was also accused of sending text messages seeking repayment and/or “bribes” from the victim. In one instance he allegedly requested personal viewing or photos of bruising on the victim’s hips.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

The bond on the Teton County warrant was set at $50,000. Wilkes appeared before a judge in Bingham County on Friday and posted bond later that day. A no-contact order has been issued between him and the victim.

Wilkes was removed from the classroom and relieved of coaching duties at the advice of District 401 legal counsel in March. Parents had raised concerns over an incident that occurred in Challis during a wrestling match this year. Wilkes was accused of physically assaulting two student wrestlers from Teton High School in February. Click here to read the story.

RELATED | Police report filed against wrestling coach for ‘abusive behavior’

On Monday, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office referred EastIdahoNews.com to the Custer County Prosecutor’s Office on the incident. A call was not immediately returned from the prosecutor’s office, but it appears no charges have been filed in connection to that incident.

Wilkes was offered a teaching position and head wrestling coach job in Thermopolis, Wyoming, in April. The offer was rescinded on May 19, according to public documents.

In a declaration filed in court last week, it says that Wilkes went to Alaska recently and was trying to seek employment at a school district teaching wrestling to students but has not received a job offer.

His next court appearance on the sexual battery charges is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Dec. 6 with District Judge Steven Boyce.

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