Lakenheath soccer coach pleads guilty to relationship with teen
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — A former youth soccer coach pleaded guilty Tuesday to several counts of indecent sexual acts in connection with a consensual relationship he had with his then-15-year-old assistant.
Airman 1st Class Stephen T. Jones, 27, entered the guilty pleas Tuesday morning before Judge (Col.) Gordon R. Hammock in a special court-martial at RAF Lakenheath. The judge, however, has yet to accept the plea.
The charges stem from a three-month relationship Jones had with his former assistant coach during the latter part of 2004, according to court documents. The victim was a dependent of an RAF Lakenheath airman.
Jones joined the Air Force on Nov. 10, 2003, and his first assignment was at the 48th Aerospace Medicine Squadron here, court documents show.
He volunteered to coach a youth soccer team, and one of his player’s sisters assisted him as a coach.
The two began a friendly relationship that turned more serious after a Nov. 6, 2004, team pizza party in which he told her that “she was beautiful.” Jones admitted to the court that he knew the victim was 15, but that she appeared 20 or 21.
The two began talking on the phone almost every night and spoke about a life together beyond RAF Lakenheath, Jones testified.
“We talked about getting married,” Jones said.
During that time, the victim confided in Jones that she had previously been raped by a 32-year-old man, but that she had not told anyone about the crime. He said that’s why he moved slowly with her, always letting her make the first move.
“Knowing her past, I did not want to violate her in any way,” Jones testified.
The two then started to meet at a park on base to make out before she went to Lakenheath High School, where she was a sophomore. The relationship grew more heated when the victim began visiting Jones at his Air Force dorm room.
That is where many of the sexual acts for which he was prosecuted took place, Jones said.
The affair ended when the victim’s parents moved back to the United States near the end of 2004. However, Jones was arrested after an e-mail to the victim was intercepted by one of her parents.