Plaintiffs Make Case that Abuser Was District Employee

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Plaintiffs in the case of a Miles City, Mont., "athletic trainer" accused of systematically abusing student-athletes have presented new evidence that James "Doc" Jensen was indeed an employee of the local school district — a disputed point in ongoing court filings.

According to the Billings Gazette, since the civil suit was filed, the school district has denied that it knew about Jensen's abuse, while plaintiffs have argued that the district knew and failed to take actions — with both sides often citing the same evidence. Jensen is accused of operating a systematic sexual abuse scheme known as "The Program" in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. The civil suit targets both Jensen and the Custer County High School District, which 31 alleged victims argue should have stopped Jensen's abuse.

The plaintiffs' latest filling includes a "notice of employment" for school years from 1994-95 to 1997-98 that shows that Jensen was slated to earn $1,548 in the first year and $1,638 in his last year as an "athletic trainer." He was also issued tax forms from the district from two of those years.

Wednesday's filings by the plaintiffs target an argument in a document filed by the school district Dec. 28 that Jensen was "not a regular employee" and "essentially a volunteer." That characterization "grossly misconstrues the facts," the plaintiffs argued Wednesday.

As the abuse story broke in September, the National Athletic Trainers Association issued a release stating that Jensen was never certified by the national certifying body for athletic trainers. 

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