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Former Roberts head coach pleads guilty to child endangerment, avoids jail time

Posted at 4:18 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 18:29:01-05

BILLINGS – The former Roberts high school head basketball coach has been sentenced to counseling following a misdemeanor endangerment charge for kissing a 15-year-old female student.

John Wayne Payovich had initially pleaded not guilty but changed his plea last Thursday to guilty that he “created an environment that encouraged (the girl) to engage in inappropriate conduct consistent with an intimate dating relationship.”

Payovich was charged in August for having romantic contact with a female student in December 2017 and January 2018, once at his home and once at her home.

At the time, he was the school’s boys head basketball coach.

Payovich paid an $85 fine and is ordered to attend regular counseling sessions focused on establishing age-appropriate boundaries for the rest of his 12-month sentencing.

Payovich initially denied kissing or touching the victim inappropriately,

The victim described both incidents in an interview with a Carbon County sheriff’s deputy as a “boyfriend-girlfriend” type of kiss.

Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN News

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