Former youth basketball coach sent to prison for sex crime

A former Jackson County youth basketball coach was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to a charge of criminal sexual conduct involving a minor, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Wednesday.

Jerrell Sanders, 31, appeared in Ingham County 30th Circuit Court for his sentencing before Judge Rosemarie Aquilina. He pleaded guilty in September to third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a person between the ages of 13 and 15. 

Sanders was charged in November 2019 by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, which referred the case to the Attorney General’s Office due to a conflict of interest. The case was sent to the Ingham County court after judges in Jackson County also recused themselves due to conflicts of interest.  

“Sexual predators come in a variety of different forms, but many use their notoriety and positions of power to prey on their subordinates and others in vulnerable situations,” Nessel said. “This behavior is inexcusable, immoral and criminal, and
those who think they can use their authority for their own twisted agendas must answer for their misdeeds.”

The felony count stems from an incident that occurred Nov. 5, 2019, when Sanders engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor who was 15 years old at the time. 

Sanders was an East Jackson High School girls basketball coach, and also coached for Michigan Premier Basketball, a non-school affiliated basketball program, at the Michigan Sports Facility of Jackson where he mentored young women and girls.

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