Former high school wrestling coach pleads not guilty to sexual battery of a minor

Crime Watch

DRIGGS — A former high school wrestling coach that was indicted last month on charges of sexual battery of a minor pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday.

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

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

Wilkes was arrested in Bingham County on the Teton County warrant on Nov. 18. He was indicted by a Teton County grand jury the previous day and charged with two counts of sexual battery of a minor child for incidents that allegedly happened five years ago.

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

Wilkes appeared during his arraignment in front of District Judge Steven Boyce at the Teton County Courthouse Tuesday morning with his attorney Curtis Smith. Wilkes has been out on bail and appeared in a white shirt, tie, and slacks.

The indictment in the case was not read out loud in court. However, 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.

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

Wilkes was also accused of sending texts seeking repayment and/or “bribes” from the victim.

At the end of the arraignment, Boyce said a pre-trial and trial dates would need to be scheduled.

Bailey Smith, Teton County Prosecuting Attorney, asked Boyce for a three-day trial. Curtis Smith asked for a four-day trial.

The trial is set for May 8 to May 12.

Before court concluded, Boyce addressed Wilkes.

“Mr. Wilkes, there are no-contact orders that have been issued in this case. You are required…to comply to all the terms and conditions of those no-contact orders. If you violate the terms of those orders, you could face additional charges,” he said.

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