NewsCrime and Courts


Miles City school district asks that sexual abuse lawsuit be thrown out

Posted at 2:19 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 18:15:34-04

BILLINGS- Attorneys for the Miles City Unified School District are asking a judge to dismiss a massive civil case surrounding their longtime athletic trainer who is accused of sexually abusing hundreds of boys.

In a statement below, attorney Jeana Lervick said the case is legally improper.

Miles City Public Schools did the best that it could with what little information it had in the mid-1990s. Mr. Jensen’s scheme of keeping students from talking was quite extensive, and it’s not surprising that the District was not aware of his actions. The administrators in charge went above and beyond to address what little information they had—these men were lifelong educators and parents of students at the time. They had no reason to hide or ignore the horrors Mr. Jensen appears to have inflicted. The motion discusses the legal issues with Plaintiffs’ complaint and asks that two of the six claims be dismissed as legally improper.

The lawsuit involves 78-year-old James Jensen – who is expected to be in a Missoula federal courtroom Tuesday- to plead guilty to separate federal charges of coercion.

Those with the school district say school administrators in charge, went above and beyond to address what little information they had.

The district also says they had no reason to hide or ignore the horrors Mr. Jensen appears to have inflicted.

In September, a massive case was filed on behalf of 31 former student-athletes who say they were given massages and inappropriate rubdowns in a sophisticated ritual of sexual abuse.

Jensen is set to appear in Missoula federal court Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. where the court will consider his motion to change his plea of not guilty to guilty.

Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN News

Prosecutors: Former Miles City athletic trainer “cat-fished” young boys, abuse crossed state lines
Miles City sex-abuse survivors worry Billings lawmaker will torpedo statute-of-limitations bill
Judge asks prosecutors for more evidence in former Miles City athletic trainer case
Former Miles City athletic trainer accused in massive sex abuse case to admit to federal coercion charges
Sex abuse victims demand Miles City school district hand over evidence in case against ex-trainer
Longtime Miles City athletic trainer accused in sex abuse moved to Yellowstone County jail
Alleged sex-abuse victims of longtime Miles City trainer meet often for support
Former Miles City athletic trainer charged with coercion and enticement of minors to engage in sexual activity
More victims, ‘smoking gun,’ evidence filed in massive Miles City sex abuse case
Former Miles City athletic trainer arrested, charged with possession of child pornography
Miles City school board promises to ‘work around the clock’ on sex-abuse investigation
Montana Department of Justice assisting with Miles City sex abuse investigation
Miles City police launch criminal investigation into former athletic trainer accused of sex abuse
Attorney: Criminal charges might not be possible for victims of Miles City sex abuse, because of Montana law
Miles City school district files cross-complaint against longtime athletic trainer accused of sexual abuse