Former basketball coach indicted for sexual battery

Published 2:03 pm Friday, February 14, 2014

Leslie Danielle Dewitt, a former Pearl River Central High School girls’ basketball coach, was indicted on Friday on two counts of sexual battery and three counts of touching of a child for a lustful purpose in Hancock County.

According to court records, Dewitt was indicted by a grand jury for incidents that happened between Dec. 1, 2009 and July 30, 2010.

Dewitt was arrested in June 2013 in Pearl River County for touching a child under the age of 18 for lustful purposes. A Pearl River County grand jury didn’t indict her when the case went to trial in Oct. 2013, said Vickie Hariel, Pearl River County circuit clerk.

The crime in Pearl River County was alleged to have occurred in May 2012.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department investigation that led to her arrest in March 2013 alleged that the sexual misconduct occurred between Dewitt and a 16-year old female.

DeWitt was a first-year head coach at Pearl River Central when she abruptly resigned in January 2013, which was said to have occurred on a voluntary basis, Pearl River County School District Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said at the time of her resignation.

Prior to coaching at Pearl River Central, DeWitt was an assistant coach at Harrison Central High School for two seasons.

Before leaving to coach at Harrison Central after the 2010-11 school year, DeWitt was an assistant coach for the Lady Hawks basketball team at Hancock High School for several years.

In March 2013, DeWitt was arrested by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office without incident at her home in Perkinston and was charged with three counts of sexual battery while in a position of trust.