Lawsuit: Man Abused Dozens of HS Student-Athletes

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A lawsuit filed on Friday alleges that a man, James “Doc” Jensen, sexually abused as many as 100 boys in his capacity working with athletes at the Custer County District High School in Miles City, Montana.

The Billings Gazette reports that Jensen, along with the high school, the school district, and unnamed school and athletics officials who allegedly knew about the abuse and failed to stop it, are all named as defendants in the suit.

Media reports said that Jensen worked in the school as a “part-time athletic trainer” from a period beginning in the early 1970s and ending with his termination in 1998. However, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association points out that Jensen lacked the proper credential, and that describing him as an athletic trainer is inaccurate.

“The lawsuit and subsequent media coverage name Jensen as an athletic trainer for a Montana high school, however, he was never certified by the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC), the national certifying body for athletic trainers. Therefore, he is not, nor has he ever been, an athletic trainer,” reads a NATA statement on the story. Jensen has no known medical training, according to the Gazette.

Still, Jensen did have access to student-athletes. The suit alleges that Jensen “used the authority and trust of his position with the district to groom, entice, induce and coerce plaintiffs for the purpose of sexually abusing them on an ongoing basis.” The details can be found in the Gazette’s story.

Jensen reportedly began reaching out to victims on Facebook, seeking to make amends for the abuse. “I want to ask forgiveness from anyone I may have hurt emotionally or physically during my 28 years as the Cowboy Trainer,” reads a post Jensen made in a Facebook group called Custer County Grads.

The statute of limitations regarding crimes of this nature on minors makes it unclear how many of the alleged crimes Jensen may be charged with.

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