It took a Calgary jury less than five hours to find a former ringette coach guilty of sex-related charges involving a young player on her team Friday afternoon.
Kelsea Hepburn, 24, was accused of sexual touching and invitation to sexual touching for incidents that happened in 2010 and 2011 with a 13-year-old girl.
During the trial this week, the court heard accounts from the victim and her parents.
The teen described incidents where Hepburn would initiate touching and kissing. The girl also told the court Hepburn frequently said she felt like a criminal or a predator.
Her parents testified about explicit text messages and romantic and inappropriate interactions between the coach and the young girl.
Hepburn told court these were only text messages and she had no intention of doing the things she wrote about.
In one exchange on New Year’s Eve, Hepburn asked where the girl wants to kiss her.
Hepburn admitted she made mistakes
Another text from Hepburn read, "PS you need to be super careful with your phone and erase these messages … if anyone reads these I’m going to jail."
The teen's mother even described one incident where she came home and found the pair in the family's basement with their pants off.
The accused testified she is not a "bad person," and that they often joked around but there was nothing sexual between the two.
Hepburn testified that the girl was infatuated with her and she didn’t set proper boundaries. When asked about accusations of kissing and touching, Hepburn said she had made mistakes.
The date for sentencing will be set next Friday. Hepburn coached ringette for six years.
The minimum sentence for the criminal offences that Hepburn has been convicted of was 45 days until the federal government changed that last August to 12 months. The maximum penalty is 10 years.
The Crown is expected to ask the judge to take that change into account when giving a verdict.
CBC News Calgary initially reported that Kelsea Hepburn was found guilty of sexual interference when she was instead found guilty of sexual touching.Sep 14, 2013 3:31 AM MT