Man: I lied about sex with high school swim coach
Trial • He backtracks from saying the woman slept with him, classmate before they were 18.
Published: February 27, 2013 11:00AM
Updated: March 1, 2013 02:00PM
image
Jamie Waite

Ogden • When talking with Ogden police investigators in 2011, Tyler Barello told a detailed story about the times he and a fellow high school student hung out with Jamie Waite, a volunteer swim coach at Ben Lomond High School.

Barello recounted drunken nights he spent with the now 37-year-old woman at her Ogden home when he was 17 years old, which often led to sexual encounters. He said his classmate — a friend of his since the sixth grade — told him that he also had had sex with the former swim coach.

But on the stand Wednesday during the trial for Waite, who is charged with sexually abusing Barello’s friend, he said he lied about everything.

“You just made it up?” Waite’s attorney, Randall Marshall asked the now 19-year-old.

“Yes,” Barello replied.

Barello said on the stand he hoped the false story would help him earn his release from a court-ordered stay at a Brigham City youth center, where he was living at the time the Ogden police investigator spoke to him.

“I told them what I thought they wanted to hear,” he said Tuesday.

However, Deputy Weber County Attorney Teral Tree questioned the teen’s motives, as Barello had told the investigator that Waite asked him to lie on the stand, and Barello admitted Wednesday that he did have an eight-month sexual relationship with Waite in 2012, when he was 18 years old.

Waite, 37, is charged in 2nd District Court with four counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

The woman was arrested in March 2011 after her friend tipped off police to the alleged relationship between Waite and the male student.

In June 2011, the alleged victim testified during a preliminary hearing that he had sex with Waite about a dozen times while he was a senior in high school from November 2010 to February 2011.

But in November 2011, the boy wrote a letter to 2nd District Judge Scott Hadley saying that he was coerced into making statements to police and wanted the prosecution of Waite dropped.

“I would like to state that I would like to see it through that the prosecution is dropped,” the boy wrote in his letter. “I would like not to pursue her being charged. I do feel like I was cohersed [sic] into making the statements that were made. I would just like to see the whole thing ended.”

Tree addressed the boy’s letter in his opening statement, saying that while the boy may not be “gung-ho” about the charges, he was never mistreated by investigators, and that the relationship was still inappropriate and prohibited by law.

“[The boy] was coerced into telling the truth,” Tree said. “He was coerced into saying what he didn’t want to say.”

The boy also talked to Waite’s former attorney, James Retallick, and told him that he never had sex with Waite, according to Barello, who was at the meeting.

Marshall said during his opening statement Wednesday that Waite’s case was about “finding the truth,” which he indicated was that she never had sex with the boy.

“The state doesn’t care about the truth,” Marshall told the jury. “The state cares about a conviction.”

Tree objected to Marshall’s statements about the state seeking a conviction three times, calling the statements “absolutely out of line.”

Waite had worked as an unpaid, volunteer assistant swim coach at Ben Lomond for more than four years before her arrest. The boy said he had known Waite since he was a sophomore.

Waite’s trial is scheduled to end Friday. If convicted, Waite could face one to 15 years in prison for each of the charges.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller