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Gymnastics Coach Molested 13 Boys, Telling Some They’d Improve Athletically If They Complied

Jonathan West was sentenced to 65 years in prison for abusing boys ranging in age from 8 to 15 over a three-year period.

By Gina Tron

A former Louisiana gymnastics coach has been sentenced to 65 years in prison for molesting 13 boys, some of whom he told they’d improve at their craft if they engaged with him sexually.

Jonathan M. West, 27, was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to molesting the boys, who ranged in age from 8 and 15, Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick announced Monday. The abuse went on from 2015 through May 2018.

In addition to prison time, a judge ordered that West register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life and be monitored electronically, if he is ever released from prison.

The sentencing came after the judge heard impact statements from nine people, including six mothers of victims.

West worked as both a gymnastics and cheerleading coach in Metairie, Kenner and St. Charles Parish.

“In some cases, he molested the victims while driving them to the gyms,” Connick wrote. “In some cases, West told the victims that his actions would make them better at gymnastics.”

Jonathan West

Some of the victims came forward after West’s arrest in other cases was publicized.

West pleaded guilty to multiple counts including nine counts of indecent behavior with juveniles, one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile under age 13, and eight counts of sexual battery. He was also convicted on one count of computer solicitation of a minor under age 13 and the judge ordered that any of West’s electronics equipment used in the computer solicitation offense to be taken away from his possession and auctioned off.

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