A former Tennessee high school football coach supported his wife in court on Monday as she was sentenced to three years in prison for repeatedly having sex with one of his teen players, reports say.
Kelsey McCarter, 27, pleaded guilty on Monday to six counts of statutory rape and one count of exploitation of a minor for having sex with a 16-year-old player on her husband, Justin McCarter’s, former South-Doyle High School football team in Knoxville, KRON reports.
McCarter initially faced 38 years in prison. She agreed to a three-year sentence at Monday’s hearing, where Justin, an assistant coach on the team, stood by her side.
“She made a mistake,” McCarter’s attorney, Doug Trant, said after the hearing, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “She’ll move past it. She’s young and, as you saw, her family is here in support of her. Her husband is strongly supportive of her.”
McCarter and the victim had sex several times between Feb. and Dec. 2015. after he and his brother came to live with the family, the News-Sentinel reports. She also sent the teen a topless video of herself.
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The boys moved in with the couple when Justin offered to mentor them after they began having behavioral problems.
“She’s very sorry about what happened, she’s sorry she put her family through this,” Trant said, according to the News-Sentinel. “It’s tough and it will continue to be tough.”
The scandal rocked the Knoxville school. Principal Tim Berry and assistant principal Clark Duncan were briefly placed on administrative leave in February amid claims that they did not immediately report the sexual allegations against McCarter, WATE reports.