Trial set for ex-coach of Sequim girls team

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES –– Jerry Jeff Pedersen, a former volunteer Sequim High School girls basketball coach who is accused of having a romantic relationship with a 15-year-old player, faces a July 21 trial on five felony charges of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

Pedersen, 28, pleaded not guilty to the charges in Clallam County Superior Court on Friday. Judge Erik Rohrer agreed to release Pedersen on his own recognizance with several conditions.

The charges are Class C felonies, the least serious type of felony.

Each one carries a maximum sentence of five years and fines of up to $10,000. Pedersen would also be required to register as a sex offender if convicted.

Text messages, pictures

Police reports say Pedersen had a “boyfriend and girlfriend” relationship with a player he coached last season that included daily text messages and exchanges of nude pictures.

Pedersen’s attorney, John Black, asked for Pedersen be released on his own recognizance after entering the plea.

“He’s a longtime resident. He’s got strong ties to the community,” Black said of the 2004 Sequim High graduate.

Rohrer granted the request by John Troberg, chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, that Pedersen remain in Western Washington.

In releasing Pedersen to his father’s address, Rohrer forbid him from having contact with females younger than 18 unless they are supervised by adults aware of the charges.

Rohrer also ordered Pedersen to stay away from schools, particularly Sequim High.

Investigation by Sequim police between March 1 and 23 allegedly found that the two exchanged nude pictures and sent daily text messages to each other.

Pedersen coached for the team as an unpaid volunteer assistant to head coach Evan Still.

Pedersen was arrested April 1 and released the next day. County prosecutors filed charges April 10.


Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at

Last modified: May 03. 2014 5:32PM
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