Custer County School District says it adhered to the law in Jensen case

Staff & Wire Reports
Monday, March 11, 2019

(AP) — The Miles City Unified School District says in a court filing that it wasn’t aware of the abuse committed by a former athletic trainer, and that it followed proper reporting procedures when allegations of sexual abuse did arise.

The claim came Wednesday in a motion by the Miles school district asking a judge to dismiss some of the allegations made in a lawsuit by former students concerning the part-time trainer, James "Doc" Jensen, Jr.

The Great Falls Tribune reports the district says that when the allegations surfaced in 1997, the law only required it to report suspected abuse by parents or guardians.

Jensen was released from his duties the following year.

Attorneys for the students say they will detail how school officials failed to follow reporting standards.

Jensen has apologized for causing any distress but has denied the lawsuit's more serious allegations.

Last month Jensen appeared via video for his pretrial hearing on unrelated sexual abuse charges he faces in the Montana 16th Judicial District Court.

Jensen is accused here of 10 counts of sexual abuse of children via possession of child pornography on his computer. He was arrested by Miles City police in December after they were alerted that an employee had seen child pornography on the computer screen at the nursing home where he resided.

The felony charge of sexual abuse of children carries penalties that include a fine that won’t exceed $10,000, a prison term that won’t exceed 10 years, or both penalties. He may also be required to pay restitution.

Jensen’s local trial is scheduled for three days starting Wednesday, June 26 with a panel of 12 jurors. He also faces federal charges for which he is being held in Billings.