Wife of east TN prep football coach pleads guilty to statutory rape

Kelsey McCarter (Source: Knox County Sheriff's Office via WATE)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE/AP) — The wife of a former assistant South Doyle High School football coach pleaded guilty to having sex with a player on her husband’s team.

Kelsey McCarter, 27, was charged with statutory rape by an authority figure and exploitation of a minor by electronic means. She pleaded guilty to seven overall counts, including six charges of statutory rape.

McCarter agreed to a three-year prison term but could be eligible for release after serving 30 percent of her sentence.

McCarter faced charges of having sex with a 16-year-old sophomore at Knoxville’s South-Doyle High School in 2015 as well as sending him an inappropriate photo of herself.

The boy’s mother said the encounters occurred while the teen lived with McCarter and her husband, Justin McCarter. Justin McCarter invited the student to live at their home after the teen faced behavioral problems.

In a parallel investigation, Allen says her office reviewed the actions of Principal Tim Berry, Assistant Principal Clark Duncan and McCarter’s husband, assistant football coach Justin McCarter, focusing on their conduct in the allegations against Kelsey McCarter and whether they immediately reported child sexual abuse to DCS or law enforcement, as required by law. A criminal investigation was not pursued against the three.

Justin McCarter resigned last year.

Berry and Duncan were suspended for not contacting the Department of Children’s Services immediately.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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