Ex-Miles City high school athletic trainer sentenced to 12 years for coercion in molestation of boys
BILLINGS—Former Miles City high school athletic trainer James E. “Doc” Jensen, Jr., who admitted to sexually abusing numerous boys under the pretense of a program he claimed would improve their physical performance, was sentenced on Tuesday to 12 years in prison and to three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Jensen, 79, pleaded guilty in March to coercion and enticement. There was no plea agreement.
Chief U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen of Missoula presided.
Jensen, the prosecution said in court records, was an athletic trainer at the Custer County District High School in Miles City from the 1970s to about 1998. Jensen used the Internet to develop a so-called “Program” he employed to coerce minor male student-athletes into sexual activity saying it would increase their physical performance.
“For years, James Jensen manipulated and committed horrible abuse against many boys, causing emotional and physical harm that his victims still suffer today. Our sincere hope is that this prosecution of Jensen, holding him accountable for his abuse, will help close a chapter in the lives of his many victims and allow them, their families and friends along with the Miles City community to begin to heal,” U.S. Attorney Alme said. “We recognize that coming forward to report abuse is difficult, but if you or someone you know is being physically or sexually abused, please report it,” he said.
Victim interviews confirmed that Jensen engaged in this conduct until at least 1999 and after his association with Custer County District High School. In a September 2018 interview with law enforcement, Jensen admitted the basic tenants of “The Program,” saying he got information for its administration from the Internet and had applied it to numerous minor children.
One of Jensen’s relatives told law enforcement of seeing apparent computer print-outs of “The Program” among Jensen’s possessions. Another witness told investigators about seeing Jensen online and deceptively attempting to contact minor children, particularly boys, by creating a false identity. Internet searches on Jensen’s computer were consistent with sexual interest in children.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zeno Baucus, Bryan Dake and Tim Tatarka prosecuted the case, which was investigated in 2018 by the FBI and the Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation.