Utah teen testifies of having sex with high school swim coach
Court • Alleged victim said he did not want woman prosecuted.
Published: February 28, 2013 01:13PM
Updated: March 1, 2013 01:07PM
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Jamie Waite

Ogden • The first time he claims to have had sex with Jamie Waite, a volunteer swim coach at Ben Lomond High School, it was on her bathroom floor. He was 17 years old.

The now 19-year-old man testified in 2nd District Court on Thursday that the coach had given him shots of vodka earlier that night — it was the first time he had tried alcohol.

After that first encounter in November 2010, he said he had sexual relations with his swim coach more than 20 times in December 2010 and January 2011. Their encounters almost always took place when he was supposed to be at school, or before or after swim practice, he said.

Waite, 37, is charged with four counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, for her alleged relationship with the teen. Her trial is expected to end Friday.

The alleged victim testified Thursday that he never wanted charges filed against the woman. And in June 2011, he typed a letter to 2nd District Judge Scott Hadley, telling the judge 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.”

The teen said on the stand that his letter was carefully worded: he never said it didn’t happen — he just wanted the charges to go away.

“I do feel like [the Ogden police investigator] tricked me,” the teen said Thursday.

“He coerced you into telling the truth?” asked Deputy Weber County Attorney Teral Tree.

“Yes, he did,” the alleged victim replied.

The teen said that when he initially talked to police, he denied having sexual relations with the swim coach, but eventually told the investigator that he had four sexual encounters with Waite.

“I wanted to minimize it,” he testified. “Especially since I knew he was going to tell my mother about it.”

Earlier Thursday, Amy Levy, a friend of Waite’s who tipped off police to the relationship, testified that Waite told her in November 2010 about having sex with the alleged victim. She said she wanted to give her friend “the benefit of the doubt,” so she didn’t say anything.

It wasn’t until they were sitting side by side in a sacrament meeting in their LDS Church ward on Feb. 27, 2011, she said, that she knew she had to tell someone.

Waite had told her that the teen had broken off their relationship, Levy testified, but Waite said she was OK with it because she had been hanging out with another boy from their ward. Levy said she never knew who the boy was, but Waite had gestured toward the teen boys passing out sacrament during church proceedings.

“I started to see her less as a friend and more as a predator at that point,” Levy said Thursday.

Initially, Levy said she told her bishop, who told her she needed to contact police. Waite was arrested a week later.

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

On Wednesday, Tyler Barello, also a former Ben Lomond student, testified that although he told Ogden police in 2011 that both he and his friend had sex with Waite when Barello when was 17, Barello had made up the story.

Barello said on the stand he hoped the story would help him earn 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 Wednesday.

A director from the youth center testified Thursday that Barello’s admission about a sexual relationship would have been irrelevant to his leaving the program.

Barello also said he had an eight-month sexual relationship with Waite in 2012, when he was 18 years old.

On Thursday, Waite’s attorney, Randall Marshall, brought in a teen who testified that the alleged victim denied having sex with Waite, and also two of Waite’s neighbors, who testified that they sometimes saw a group of teens from her swim team at Waite’s home, but they never saw her alone with a teenage boy.

Waite’s former attorney, James Retallick, also testified that the alleged victim told him during a lunch meeting that the sexual encounters never happened.

On the stand, however, the teen said he felt pressured by Barello, who told him if he said a sexual relationship never happened, charges would be dropped against Waite.

If convicted, Waite could face one to 15 years in prison for each of the charges.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller