A Tennessee woman who pleaded guilty to performing sex acts on a 16-year-old boy who played on her husband’s football team is claiming the acts were consensual and is asking for a civil suit to be tossed.
Kelsey McCarter, 29, pleaded guilty to six counts of statutory rape last year. McCarter had sexual encounters with the South-Doyle High sophomore at least 11 times in her home and in her car and sent the teenager a topless video clip of herself. Her guilty plea landed her three years behind bars.
But McCarter’s attorney is now arguing that the boy was not a victim of sexual abuse since the teen was allegedly “a willing participate” in the sex acts; thus, he should not qualify for monetary damages. The boy filed a lawsuit against McCarter and the school system seeking over $2 million.
In 2014, the boy and his brother were invited to live with the McCarters by their assistant high school football coach and mentor Justin McCarter, Kelsey’s husband. According to court documents, the boys were having “domestic issues” with their mother.
“[The boy] claims that he suffered injury from the repeated ‘sexual abuse’ by Ms. McCarter,” said attorney Doug Trant, who’s representing McCarter, in a motion. “However, the complaint is replete with factual allegations allowing the conclusion that [he] was a willing participant in numerous sexual encounters with Ms. McCarter.”
In August of 2015, the boys were briefly kicked out of the McCarter home by Justin. Mr. McCarter’s attorney says this was not due to the sexual affair, as he was unaware of the infidelity. By October, though, the boys were welcomed back into the home, apparently after Mrs. McCarter convinced her husband to allow them back in. The sexual encounters picked back up.
According to Trant, the boy wanted the sexual relationship and submitted to sexual acts so he could have a place back in the McCarter home.
“By [the boy’s] own admission in the complaint, he continued to ‘submit’ to the sexual contacts with Ms. McCarter because he wanted to return to live with the McCarters,” the attorney argued. “By his own admission in the complaint [the boy] desired and maintained a sexual relationship with Ms. McCarter in order to derive a personal benefit — initially to extend his stay at the McCarters’ residence and then to ensure his return therein.”
After the boys moved back in, the victim posted a nude photo of McCarter to social media, triggering an investigation by the school. Soon after, Mr. McCarter resigned from his position as assistant football coach at the high school.
The teen’s lawsuit accuses the school of failing to properly notify authorities about the sexual abuse, says the New York Post.
Meanwhile, the husband’s attorney, Julia Trant, claims her client is a victim, too. “Plaintiff’s complaint represents a profound example of the well-known proverb ‘no good deed goes unpunished,'” the attorney wrote in a motion.
As of last year, Mr. McCarter was standing by his philandering wife. “She made a mistake,” said Mrs. McCarter’s attorney. “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.”
“She’s very sorry about what happened, she’s sorry she put her family through this,” Trant added.
A hearing for the case has been scheduled for December 20.
The age of consent in Tennessee is 18.