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Jackson basketball coach found guilty of sex with girl, 15

The Detroit News

A Jackson County youth basketball coach pleaded guilty Thursday to having sex with a 15-year-old girl, according to Attorney General Dana Nessel's office.

Jerrell Sanders, 31, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a person between the ages of 13 and 15 during a video hearing before Judge Rosemarie Aquilina in Ingham County Circuit Court. The charge is a 15-year felony. 

According to Nessel's office, Sanders engaged in sexual intercourse with the girl Nov. 5, 2019. The victim and her family were consulted about the plea deal and supported it, the attorney general's office said in a news release.

After Sanders was charged, the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office referred the case to Nessel's office because of a conflict of interest. Judges in Jackson County also recused themselves, leading the case to be moved to Ingham County courts.

Sanders was an East Jackson High School girls basketball coach and also coached for Michigan Premier Basketball, a non-school affiliated basketball program, at the Michigan Sports Facility of Jackson. 

He must turn himself into the Jackson County Jail to await sentencing at 3 p.m. Oct. 20 by Aquilina.