Kelsey McCarter, the 27-year-old wife of a former South-Doyle High football coach, pleaded guilty on Monday to having sex with one of the players. She agreed to a three-year prison sentence
McCarter, 27, pleaded guilty to all seven counts, including six statutory rape charges, ahead of her trial that was set to begin this week in Knox County Criminal Court.
Facing 38 years in prison, McCarter made the decision to plead guilty and in favor of the minimum sentence. She will be eligible for release after serving 30 percent of the sentence.
“She made a mistake,” Doug Trant, her attorney, said after the hearing. “She’ll move past it. She’s young, and as you saw, her family is here in support of her. Her husband is strongly supportive of her.”
Prosecutors say that McCarter and the 16-year-old sophomore had sex in her home and in her car multiple times between February 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015.
Kelsey McCarter and the 16-year-old sophomore player had sex in her home and in her care over multiple times between Feb. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, including when she was driving him to his mother’s house to move back in with his family, prosecutors said. She also once sent him a topless video of herself, prosecutors said.
The boy’s mother said last year the abuse happened while her son and his older brother were living with the McCarters. Justin McCarter invited the two brothers to live with him and his wife, offering to mentor the boys after they began having behavioral problems, such as skipping school, the mother said.
The brothers lived with the McCarters for about a year, their mother said, and played on the football team while attending South-Doyle High. No abuse has been alleged against the older boy. As of last year, the boys were living with their mother and were attending Fulton High School.
McCarter’s husband Justin resigned as an instructional aide and assistant football coach for South-Doyle in February 2016.
Justin McCarter told a school administrator that the student was “blackmailing” him and his wife with a photo, but the unidentified teen had since denied the claim.