Ex-Coach, Wife Fight Lawsuit Brought by Teen

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Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)


He wanted it.

That's what the wife of a former South-Doyle High School football coach says about the teenage boy she lured into her marital bed after her husband invited him into their home, court records show.

Kelsey McCarter, 29, is asking a Knox County Circuit Court judge to toss out a lawsuit filed against her and her husband - then South-Doyle assistant football coach Justin McCarter - by a 14-year-old boy who says she repeatedly molested him after he moved in with the couple.

She is currently behind bars after pleading guilty in Knox County Criminal Court in 2017 to a half-dozen statutory rape charges involving the boy. But she insists, via attorney Doug Trant, she's no rapist or child molester, and the boy's lawsuit for damages should be dismissed.

"(The boy) claims that he suffered injury from the repeated 'sexual abuse' by Ms. McCarter," Trant wrote in a motion. "However, the complaint is replete with factual allegations allowing the conclusion that (he) was a willing participant in numerous sexual encounters with Ms. McCarter."

Football 'trainee' moves in

Court records show the McCarters moved the boy, who was a football "trainee" of the assistant coach, and his older brother into their home with permission from his mother in July 2014. According to the lawsuit, the boys and their single mother were "experiencing domestic issues," and Justin McCarter agreed to mentor them.

Kelsey McCarter soon lured the 14-year-old boy into a sexual relationship - behind her husband's back, court records state.

The couple, though, began fighting, and Justin McCarter told both boys to leave in August 2015. He denies in a motion to dismiss filed by attorney Julia Anna Trant the marital discord involved his wife's infidelity with the boy. He says he had no idea his wife was having sex with the boy.

But Kelsey McCarter continued the sexual relationship with the teen even after he moved back home and, in October 2015, convinced her husband to move him back into their home. A few months later, the boy posted a nude photo of Kelsey McCarter on social media, and someone alerted school officials.

Kelsey McCarter was indicted and later pleaded guilty in return for a three-year prison term. Justin McCarter resigned as assistant football coach. The boy then sued the McCarters and the school system.

A hearing is set for Monday on their respective motions to dismiss it.

Attorney: Consensual sex, mutual gain

Her attorney says the boy was not sexually abused and, therefore, isn't entitled to try to collect damages. The boy, he says, benefited just as much as Kelsey McCarter did from their relationship.

"By (the boy's) own admission in the complaint, he continued to 'submit' to the sexual contacts with Ms. McCarter because he wanted to return to live with the McCarters," Doug Trant wrote.

"By his own admission in the complaint (the boy) desired and maintained the sexual relationship with Ms. McCarter in order to derive a personal benefit - initially to extend his stay at the McCarters' residence and then to ensure his return therein," the motion continued.

"It was reasonable for Ms. McCarter to believe that (the boy) desired to be involved sexually with her and that he willingly participated in their sexual relationship," it stated.

Julia Trant says it is outrageous for the boy to sue Justin McCarter, who tried to help the boy and wound up the cuckold.

"Plaintiff's complaint represents a profound example of the well-known proverb 'no good deed goes unpunished,' " she wrote.

The school system says it is immune, particularly since Kelsey McCarter was not an employee. The boy blames the school system, in part, for failing to promptly notify authorities.

South-Doyle Principal Tim Berry was suspended for two weeks without pay and assistant principal Clark Duncan was suspended without pay for three days for failing to immediately report allegations of child sexual abuse to the state Department of Children's Services or law enforcement.

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December 3, 2018


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