Log Out | Member Center

40°F

53°/38°

Cheer coach’s defense rests in sex abuse trial

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, April 22, 2013, at 7:34 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at 6:03 p.m.

The defense rested its case Monday in the trial of a former cheer coach charged with sexually abusing four of his underage students.

Closing arguments in the trial of Timothy Wells-Lee are scheduled for Tuesday morning, and the jury will begin deliberations after that.

Wells-Lee, 29, is charged with 11 felonies that accuse him of having sexual relationships with girls ranging in age from 12 to 14 from 2006 through 2008.

Three of the charges carry potential life prison sentences.

All four girls testified at the trial, as did Wells-Lee, who denied having any sexual contact with three of the girls. He told the jury last week that the fourth was 16 by the time he began dating her.

Among the witnesses taking the stand Monday were the defendant’s parents and both of his sisters, all of whom said they never saw Wells-Lee alone with three of the girls he is accused of molesting.

The family members said they knew that Wells-Lee had dated the fourth girl but not until after she had turned the legal age of 16.

Earlier testimony showed that Wells-Lee was in the shower with that girl when police went to his parents’ home in Sedgwick to arrest him in the summer of 2010. He was 26 at the time, and she was 16.

The defendant’s father, William Wells-Lee, said he didn’t realize until after police arrived that the girl was at his home that day.

William Wells-Lee told District Attorney Marc Bennett that he was aware that the girl’s parents were trying to keep his son from seeing their daughter.

“You were okay with your son dating (her)?” Bennett asked

“I had no control over that,” he said.

The trial is being held in the courtroom of District Judge Ben Burgess.

Reach Hurst Laviana at 316-2680-6499 or hlaviana@wichitaeagle.com.

Subscribe to our newsletters

The Wichita Eagle welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views. Please see our commenting policy for more information.

Have a news tip? You can send it to wenews@wichitaeagle.com or consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Wichita Eagle.

Search for a job

in

Top jobs