A former Northern Colorado youth basketball coach has been sentenced to jail after admitting to assaulting a teen girl he coached.
Terel Hughes, 33, pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a child, as well as sexual contact without consent.
Hughes was arrested in April of last year for sexually assaulting a teen girl and inappropriately touching another teen while working as their basketball coach at Integrity Sports Arena in Windsor, Colo.
Hughes was suspended after Integrity owner Marty Bertolette found out about the allegations. Hughes did continue to work remotely as the facility’s tournament and league director but was promptly fired after he was arrested.
According to Coloradan.com, Hughes will also be required to register as a sex offender and complete sex offender treatment. He is barred from accessing the internet, sexually explicit material, social media, vision-enhancing devices and drugs or alcohol while on probation, and he cannot contact anyone under the age of 18.
Hughes has been sentenced to 60 days in jail, which will be followed by a four-year supervised deferred sentence, during which he will be enrolled in the sex-offender specific intensive probation program.
The victim testified that basketball used to be a source of joy in her life but that it was ruined by Hughes, who manipulated her and used his position of trust to sexually abuse her. She said Hughes assaulted her on multiple occasions in multiple places. She said that she was afraid to speak up in part because she was afraid of how her teammates, friends and other would react.
After reporting the abuse to police, the victim said she stopped playing basketball and was ostracized by her friends and teammates and was called a liar and other cruel names.
"It took me a while to realize I have a voice and now I'm using it," she said.
Deputy district attorney Amanda Duhon said Hughes has admitted to some of his crimes but continues to minimize what happened.
"There's no gray area for coaches and players. There's no gray area for adults and children," Duhon said.
Duhon said that Integrity Sports “shares some blame in the case” and accused staff of obstructing the investigation.
"This is all a part of a pattern that Integrity Sports allowed to go on," Duhon said. "That's why their female coaches didn't feel comfortable coming forward. That's why their female players didn't feel comfortable coming forward."
Bertolette told the Coloradoan on Thursday that he cooperated with investigators in every step of the process.
"When the allegation and information was reported to me, I immediately called the Windsor Police Department and reported it, as is my responsibility," he said. "As far as the investigation, I was 100 percent cooperative in providing any and all information that they requested."