A former coach at Southeast High School in Yoder who was convicted of having sex with a 16 year old girl he coached has been sentenced to three and a half to eight years in prison.
36-year-old Michael Booth entered a guilty plea in April to ‘Third Degree Sexual Abuse of a Minor by a Person in Authority’.
Booth was arrested last October following an investigation regarding a May, 2017 incident where he and the high school victim had sex. Court documents say Booth and the victim confirmed the incident happened and the victim told the investigator she felt pressured into it.
Goshen County District Judge Pat Korrell said the seriousness of the crime required Booth’s removal from society along with additional therapy and rehabilitation while in custody. Korell said even though Booth had accepted full responsibility for his actions, had no criminal history and had little chance of re-offending; as a person of authority he violated the victim’s trust and that of the community.
In a letter to the court, the victim said Booth had taken away her childhood and she was no longer the person she was. The victim said in the letter Booth persisted in advances even after their sexual encounter and she now had trust issues, had lost weight and has an eating disorder. The victim said Booth “deserves everything he gets.”
Booth admitted what he did was “very wrong” and while admitting it may not be enough apologized to the victims, the community and the families impacted.
Booth’s wife Lindsy testified their marriage began to go downhill after the State Tournament in 2017, and the family was in turmoil while Booth received or made phone calls to the victim or communicated through Snapchat. Mrs. Booth said she filed for a divorce and for a restraining order against her husband- but admitted the family is now back together because of their faith and changes Booth has made in communicating with her and his three children.