The wife of a former South-Doyle High football coach pleaded guilty to repeatedly having sex with one of the players on the team Monday, agreeing to a three-year prison term.
Kelsey McCarter, 27, pleaded guilty to all seven counts, including six statutory rape charges, ahead of her trial that was set to begin Monday in Knox County Criminal Court.
McCarter, who was facing 38 years in prison, made the decision to plead guilty and in favor of the minimum sentence on Thursday, said her attorney, Doug Trant. She will be eligible for release after serving 30 percent of the sentence.
“She made a mistake,” Trant said after the hearing. “She’ll move past it. She’s young, and as you saw, her family is here in support of her. Her husband is strongly supportive of her.”
The judge ordered McCarter to return to court on Oct. 30 to surrender.
“She’s very sorry about what happened, she’s sorry she put her family through this,” Trant said. “It’s tough and it will continue to be tough.”
Kelsey McCarter and the 16-year-old sophomore player had sex in her home and in her care over multiple times between Feb. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, including when she was driving him to his mother’s house to move back in with his family, prosecutors said.
She also once sent him a topless video of herself, prosecutors said.
The boy’s mother said last year the abuse happened while her son and his older brother were living with the McCarters.
Justin McCarter invited the two brothers to live with him and his wife, offering to mentor the boys after they began having behavioral problems, such as skipping school, the mother said.
The brothers lived with the McCarters for about a year, their mother said, and played on the football team while attending South-Doyle High. No abuse has been alleged against the older boy.
As of last year, the boys were living with their mother and attending Fulton High School.
Justin McCarter resigned as an instructional aide and assistant football coach for South-Doyle in February 2016.