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UPDATE | Jury selection begins in case of gym owner accused of sexual battery

(WSAZ)
Published: Jun. 8, 2018 at 2:31 PM EDT
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UPDATE 4/8/19 @ 8:15 p.m.

Jury selection began Monday in the case of a cheerleading coach accused of sexual battery.

James Boggs has plead not guilty to 26 counts of sexual battery.

Investigators say Boggs owns Gem City Allstars in the old West Ironton Elementary School.

The majority of incidents happened at the gym, but other incidents may have happened at Boggs' home or on trips to other states for competitions, investigators say.

The alleged victim is a teenage boy.


UPDATE 6/27/18 @ 9:35 p.m.

The case of a cheerleading coach accused of sexual battery is headed to a grand jury.

James Boggs, 38, of Wurtland, Kentucky, faces 26 counts of sexual battery. Boggs had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday in court.

Boggs, owner of Gem City Allstars in the old West Ironton Elementary School, possibly faces more charges, investigators say. They say the majority of incidents happened at the gym, but other incidents may have happened at Boggs' home or on trips to other states for competitions.

The alleged victim is a teenage boy.

Boggs' bond is set at $150,000. If released, he is required to wear a GPS bracelet.


UPDATE 6/11/18 @ 7:45 p.m.

A cheerleading coach accused of sexual battery says he is innocent.

James Boggs, 38, of Wurtland, Kentucky, pleaded not guilty to that charge on Monday, but investigators say more charges are possible.

Boggs is the owner of Gem City Allstars in the old West Ironton Elementary School.

Police say the victim is a teen boy who took tumbling lessons at the gym. They say the majority of incidents happened there, but other incidents may have happened at Boggs' home or on trips to other states for competitions.

Boggs' bond was set at $150,000. If he is able make to bond, he will be required to wear a GPS bracelet.

His preliminary hearing is set for Thursday, June. 14.


UPDATE 6/9/18

A day after the arrest of tumbling and dance coach, James Boggs is still behind bars, but others are coming forward with stories of past run-ins with the 38-year-old.

Boggs is charged with one count of sexual battery after police say he had an inappropriate relationship with a 16 or 17 year old.

Cynthia Smith, a grandparent of a dancer at a separate gym, says in 2017 Bogg's team was disqualified from a competition after his dancers, who were in their teens, had sexual dance moves in their routine.

Smith says afterwards Bogg's lashed out and returned trophies from younger dancers who danced in a separate category.

"I watched him take the trophies away one by one from the little girls and shove them back in the coaches faces," said Smith.

Smith says her hope is that after a situation like this, parents would focus more on what their child is doing.

"We need to watch out for our kids and make sure this never happens again."

Boggs is held in the Lawrence County Detention Center.


UPDATE 6/8/18 @ 6:18 p.m.

A coach of a cheerleading and tumbling team faces a charge of sexual battery.

James Boggs, 38, is the owner of Gem City Allstars in Ironton.

Police tell us the victim is a teen boy who took tumbling lessons. They said there could be more victims they don’t know about.

Meanwhile, trophies by the dozen line the windows for the Gem City Allstars Friday afternoon, located in the old West Ironton Elementary School. But the door is locked up, and no one knows when it will open again.

Boggs owns the Gem City Allstars and coaches, as well. He’s from Wurtland, Kentucky, and now behind bars on a sexual battery charge.

"You just don't know who you can trust these days and who you can't trust," said Det. Capt. Joe Ross.

The victim is either a 16 or 17-year-old boy. Ross said he had been taking tumbling lessons at Gem City for three to four months, about the same length of time as their alleged relationship.

"You think when you pay money and leave your kids, that is trying to teach them how to be an adult and going to tumbling lessons that you think you're safe," he said.

Police began investigating May 31 after the boy's mother came forward, alerted herself by another child.

"There's 50 to 60 kids enrolled in Gem City,” Ross said. “What sticks out to me is that in today's times, it seems like there's a lot of this going around. You just don't know who you can trust and who you can't trust."

Theresa Meadows lives across the street, right in front of where parents drop their kids off, including a girl she babysits for.

"It makes me sick absolutely,” she said. “It's a big shock. For someone this close to home to be accused of doing something like that."

Police said the majority of incidents happened at the gym, but others may have happened at Boggs' home and possibly on trips to other states for competitions.

Ross said more charges could be coming and possibly against people associated with the gym.

"I'm hoping there's no other victims, but we haven't ruled that out at this time."

Ross said some evidence appears to have been passed around on social media. He’s sent subpoenas to several social networking sites to get additional information.

He adds it's a reminder for parents to be suspicious, even of supposed trusted authority figures, and keep track of your child's phones and social networks.

"These are kids, we've all got kids,” said Ross. “We all love our kids and you hate to see anything like this happen to kids."

Police tell us Gem City has been operating at West Ironton for about 3-4 years.

Kentucky state police are also investigating possible incidents.

Boggs is at the Lawrence County Jail Friday, pending his arraignment Monday afternoon.


ORIGINAL STORY 6/8/18

The owner of a cheerleading gym in Ironton, Ohio is facing sex crime charge for alleged "inappropriate behavior" towards a teenage boy.

James Boggs, 38, is charged with one count of sexual battery.

Police say Boggs is the owner of Gem City Allstars in Ironton and a coach.

Based on the nature of the charge, the victim is either 16 or 17 years old. Investigators say the teenage boy had been taking tumbling classes at the gym for about three to four months.

An Ironton Police detective tells WSAZ the investigation began May 31 when the victim's mom reported possible inappropriate behavior.

Police say the alleged behavior was happening for several months at various locations including the gym.

The gym is in the 1200 block of North 3rd Street in Ironton.

Kentucky State Police are also involved in the investigation because Boggs is from Wurtland.

Investigators say they are not aware of any additional victims, but they aren't ruling that out. Police also say it's possible other charges could be filed against Boggs, as well as other people associated with the gym.

Police arrested Boggs Friday morning at the gym without incident.