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Friday, Jun 07 2013 11:10 PM

Garces coach's relationship with girl detailed

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Garces Memorial High School assistant coach Jon Sweet is shown at his arraignment in Kern County Superior on charges of sex with a minor. Attorney Kyle Humphrey is at right.

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BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

The Garces Memorial High School coach who allegedly had an affair with a student at the school knew her age -- 17 -- and knew she had become pregnant, officials say.

It isn't known if the pregnancy was carried to a full term nor if the coach was the father.

New but heavily redacted police reports on the case were made available this week. They shed light on the relationship but leave a number of questions unanswered.

The suspect, Jon Aleczander Sweet, has been charged with unlawful sexual intercourse. He was an assistant junior varsity baseball coach at Garces when he and the student began a sexual relationship in early 2013 following winter break, according to the reports.

Sweet, 25, told detectives he had sexual intercourse with the victim several times, including after finding out she was 17, the reports filed in Kern County Superior Court said. He at first denied knowing the girl was a student or underage, but later admitted she had told him her age.

He told detectives he was with the victim when she had a test at a clinic showing she was pregnant, the reports said. The victim, in a separate interview with police, said she was pregnant with Sweet's baby.

However there is no scientific evidence confirming the fatherhood of the child, said Kyle J. Humphrey, the defense attorney representing Sweet.

"At the time of the preliminary examination, the great bodily injury enhancement (against Sweet) was dismissed based on insufficiency of evidence, and that was only charged in relation to the pregnancy," the attorney said.

Sweet told detectives he thought the girl was 18 years old.

Humphrey referred questions about the possible pregnancy to prosecutors. He said cases like this one are unfortunate.

"People get exposed to each other and sometimes there is an attraction that is against the law," Humphrey said. "But when you deal with a situation with someone who's a willing participant and who's nearly 18, that line in the sand shouldn't apply."

Humphrey said his client was immature in his actions, but his case isn't like others in that Sweet wasn't in a position of authority or control and was just an assistant coach.

Prosecutor Marcus Cuper could not immediately be reached for comment.

Bakersfield police detectives received a phone call from a family member of the victim and then interviewed the girl April 1 of this year, the reports said. The girl said she met Sweet on Garces' campus in December 2012, and she learned he was romantically interested in her.

They went to a motel room on Buck Owens Boulevard and had intercourse without using birth control, the victim told police. They met for sex three other times -- twice at his apartment and once at Hart Park, she told investigators.

According to the reports, the victim said Sweet told her not to tell anyone about their relationship because he could get fired. Sweet was arrested later the same day the girl was interviewed.

Garces, a private Catholic school, has referred calls regarding Sweet to the Diocese of Fresno. Diocesan officials have said they can't comment because of legal restrictions regarding personnel issues.

Sweet is no longer listed as an assistant coach on Garces' web page.

Sweet has pleaded not guilty to three charges of unlawful sexual intercourse. A readiness hearing in the case is scheduled for July 5.

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