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Gym coach Not Guilty of sexual assault charges


WAUSAU, WI (WSAU)  -  Not Guilty. That’s the verdict in the case of a Weston gym center owner and coach accused of having sex with a then 16-year-old former student.

The trial for Taj Jefferson lasted 3 1/2 days, and he’s now free with no other charges pending against him.

Prosecutor Theresa Whetsteone says, “It pretty much boiled down to a he said-she said case, and it is a pretty hefty burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt” adding, “If that means that there’s any doubt based on reason or common sense, they (jurors) have to return a verdict of not guilty.”

Whetsteone says the court system works well, even though it didn’t go as she expected Friday. Even knowing the outcome, Whetsteone says she has no regrets and would try this case again, and she wouldn’t have brought it to trial unless she thought there was enough evidence to convict.

Taj Jefferson was accused of having sex several times with a 16-year-old that he coached, both at his Ringle residence and at his business, GymSport Gymnastics in Weston.

Jefferson had opened up his home to the family of the accuser.

Judge Vincent Howard presided over the trial.