Louisiana gymnastics coach sentenced for sexually abusing 13 boys
A Jefferson Parish judge on Monday (April 15) sentenced former gymnastics coach Jonathan West of Kenner to 65 years in prison after West admitted he sexually exploited 13 boys under his care.
West, 27, pleaded guilty as charged to the offenses outlined in a 24-count bill of information. The victims were between the ages of 8 and 15 when the abuse happened, beginning in 2015 and ending with his arrest on May 31, 2018, according to the bill of information.
With half the courtroom’s gallery filled with victims and their families, West pleaded to:
- Nine counts of indecent behavior with juveniles;
- One count of indecent behavior with a juvenile under age 13;
- Eight counts of sexual battery;
- Two counts of oral sexual battery;
- Three counts of sexual battery of a child under age 13; and,
- One count of computer solicitation of a minor under age 13.
West’s sentences were:
- 65 years for each of the sexual battery of juveniles under age 13;
- 25 years for the indecent behavior with a juvenile under age 13;
- 20 years for the computer solicitation of a minor under age 13;
- 10 years for each of the sexual battery counts;
- 10 years for each of the oral sexual battery counts; and,
- Seven years for each of the indecent behavior with juvenile counts.
Judge Stephen Enright of the 24th Judicial District Court ran the sentences concurrently, for a total of 65 years.
Judge Enright also ordered that West be electronically monitored and to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life, should he ever be released from prison. The judge additionally ordered that any of West’s electronics equipment used in the computer solicitation offense be seized and auctioned.
The judge heard impact statements from nine people, including six mothers of the victims who knew West as “Jonny.”
West worked as a gymnastics and cheerleading coach at businesses in Metairie, Kenner and St. Charles Parish. In some cases, he molested the victims while driving them to the gyms. In some cases, West told the victims that his actions would make them better at gymnastics.
Following West’s arrest, which was publicized in local news reports, more victims came forward, telling police they too were abused.
Assistant District Attorneys Rachel Africk and Zachary Popovich prosecuted the case.
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