Judge to review therapist’s notes in sex assault case
ELKHORN A judge has agreed to review records of a counseling session in the child sexual assault case against a former girls basketball coach.
Shane S. McKinley, 27, formerly of Delavan and now living in Georgetown, Texas, is charged with one count of repeated sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl and five counts of possession of child pornography.
Delavan police were notified Dec. 16 of a relationship between McKinley and a student at Williams Bay High School, according to court documents. The student was a player on McKinley’s team. He was arrested Dec. 21.
At a Walworth County Court hearing Thursday, McKinley’s attorney, James Koepke of Beloit, asked Judge John Race to review the records of a counseling session for the girl McKinley is accused of sexually assaulting. Koepke said the judge should determine if the girl said anything during the counseling session that would contain evidence favorable to McKinley or contradict statements made under oath by the girl.
Race agreed to review the counseling session record.
Walworth County Deputy District Attorney Joshua Grube opposed the review, saying the girl’s right to privacy was “paramount” to what he described as a “fishing expedition” for information.
“There is no evidence she has denied something happened,” Grube said. “All we know is that she went to counseling.”
Koepke said there is reason to examine the counseling session record. He read a letter dated Dec. 18 he said was written by the girl to McKinley.
“She wrote, ‘There’s so much I want to say,’ and, ‘I will do whatever it takes to help you get through this,’’’ Koepke said.
“I believe this shows that there is likely to be exculpatory information contained in the record of the counseling session,” Koepke said.
In addition to the counseling issue, the possibility of a second female in the case surfaced.
While arguing whether the defense could remove evidence from the Delavan Police Department to be examined by defense experts, Grube made reference to another woman. He said the evidence could not leave the Delavan Police Department’s evidence room because it could contain contraband.
“There are two problems,” Grube said. “First, the Delavan Police Department has not completed its examination. And some items contain contraband.”
Grube defined the contraband as an image of one other female, undressed and possibly underage.
Race denied the motion to turn over the evidence to the defense and instead urged the district attorney’s office to make available the evidence as soon as possible.
The defense also notified the court it would seek a change of venue.
“The publicity in this case has poisoned the jury pool,” Koepke said. “The news stories are highly inflammatory, and in a sparsely populated area such as Walworth County, they have a far-reaching impact.”
Koepke said he will bring a motion to change the location of a trial closer to the trial date.
McKinley is free on a $10,000 cash bond. His case is scheduled for trial Nov. 12.