A Montana basketball coach is on paid administrative leave after being charged with endangering the welfare of children.
According to court documents obtained by KULR and other outlets, the individual is John Wayne Payovich, a Roberts (Mont.) coach accused of kissing a 15-year-old student at his home in December of 2017 and again in early January of 2018. The incident was reported to school administrators in January, per court records obtained by multiple outlets.
The teenager told police the first kiss happened in Payovich’s bedroom after he and she returned from a Christmas shopping trip for his children. Documents state the second kiss occurred January 6 after Payovich had returned home from a basketball game, this occurring in Payovich’s bathroom.
The docoments also state that Payovich and his family were close with the teen and that she regarded Payovich as a father figure.
According to school board minutes obtained by the Montana Standard, Payovich was hired in June 2017 as an assistant coach for the high school boys basketball team and as the head coach for boys and girls junior high teams. He was hired only as the high school boys coach in June 2018.
The charge of endangering welfare of children is a misdemeanor in Montana, carrying a fine of no more than $500. Any jail time would be limited to less than six months.