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Change of plea for former Miles City trainer postponed again; different judge requested

 

BILLINGS – The change of plea hearing for the former Miles City athletic trainer accused of molesting dozens of young boys will be postponed.

James Jensen was set to appear before a federal judge in Billings on March 4 to plead guilty to the charge of use of interstate commerce to coerce a minor into sexual activity.  The charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Jensen initially was going to plead guilty in early February but the judge asked the prosecution for more proof that the crime was committed before he would allow the hearing to move forward.

Prosecutors filed additional documents, and a plea hearing was rescheduled, but on Thursday attorneys filed a motion to withdraw their consent to proceed with the hearing in front of the Billings magistrate judge.

Instead, Jensen will enter a guilty plea before a U.S. District Court Judge. He had initially waived that right, and consented to a hearing before a magistrate judge.

Documents state that Jensen and his attorney are willing to travel to Missoula or Butte to appear before Chief Judge Dana Christensen.

A new court date has not been set.

Samantha Sullivan

Samantha Sullivan

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