ROBERTS – A trial appears likely in the case of the former Roberts school basketball head coach accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old female student.
John Payovich appeared Monday in a Carbon County courthouse for an omnibus hearing, a standard court proceeding where a trial date is usually set. However, it is unusual for the accused to be present in an omnibus hearing, according to a Carbon County court clerk.
Payovich is accused of a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly kissing a 15-year-old female student multiple times during the previous school year.
Paypvich pleaded not guilty in Carbon County court back in August.
On Monday, Stillwater County Justice of the Peace Lee Cornell took over the case and appeared by video for the hearing. The Carbon County judge recused himself from the case citing a conflict.
According to court documents, the first kissing incident occurred in December of 2017 at the victim’s home. The second took place in January at Payovich’s home after he was drinking after a basketball game. The victim described both incidents in an interview with a Carbon County sheriff’s deputy as a “boyfriend-girlfriend” type of kiss.
Payovich was placed on administrative leave by the superintendent in January. It wasn’t until September that he resigned as the head coach.
The board accepted that resignation during its Sept. 26 board meeting.
The next court date for Payovich is now set for Jan. 3 with a trial date starting Jan. 24.
Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN News