Former Williams Bay coach gets 10 years for sexual assault

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staff, Gazette
Friday, May 10, 2013

— Walworth County sheriff’s deputies stood behind Shane McKinley after Judge John Race read his sentence Thursday afternoon.

Ten years in prison, Race decided, with five years of extended release time for what prosecutors said was a lengthy and often emotionally abusive relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

As his family members sobbed in the gallery, the former Williams Bay High School basketball coach stood and put his hands behind his back.

A pair of handcuffs clicked on, and McKinley was led out of the courtroom in custody.

McKinley pleaded guilty to one count of repeated sexual assault of a child in March. He was sentenced Thursday in an emotional three-hour hearing that included statements from the girl, as well as another woman whom McKinley was accused of assaulting.

Although McKinley was convicted of having a relationship with one of the girls, 18 counts of possessing child pornography and three counts of sexual intercourse with another child were read into the record Thursday.

The girl he was convicted of assaulting, now 17, recounted the slurs she heard in the hallway and abusive emails she received after the relationship came to light.

She eventually had to leave school, prosecutors said.

“She was planning to be something, to go places,” the girl’s mother said before turning her attention to McKinley. “Then there was you.

“You stole so much from her.”

The girl was a member of the junior varsity team at Williams Bay High School when McKinley, then 26, was an assistant coach there.

They started a relationship in December 2010 and regularly had sex over nine months, according to court documents.

“This is not a case where there is a snap decision,” Deputy District Attorney Joshua Grube said. “It is a systematic, ongoing, serial pattern of behavior.”

McKinley was manipulative, controlling and emotionally abusive, the young women said, and pressured them into sex when they were teenagers.

“I convinced myself that it was OK because he convinced me it was OK,” said a 19-year-old who first had sexual contact with McKinley when she was 16.

Defense attorney James Koepke said the sentence was “exceedingly harsh,” but he otherwise declined to comment after the hearing.

Koepke argued that McKinley should avoid prison time and instead receive probation with treatment.

McKinley’s relationship with the girl was “not driven by criminal thought,” Koepke argued, “but by immaturity and bad judgment.”

Race disagreed, saying “the public would be outraged” if McKinley was sentenced to probation.

Koepke also claimed as part of his argument that the girls had sex with McKinley consensually, without the use of force.

The question of physical force was irrelevant, Grube said, because it was the emotional impact that mattered.

Race echoed the sentiment.

“No, Shane did not get out a knife or a pistol,” Race said. “He didn’t need to. He exploited their youth.”

Last updated: 10:38 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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