CHULA VISTA, Calif. (CNS) - A former part-time Coronado High School basketball coach who engaged in sex acts with a 17-year-old female student was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation, and may face sex offender registration if he violates his probationary terms.
Jordan Tyler Bucklew, 34, was arrested and charged earlier this year after the Coronado Police Department received a report regarding "an inappropriate relationship" between a part-time coach and a teenage student.
Bucklew was arrested three days later.
According to the original criminal complaint, the incidents took place between December 2019 and January 2020.
Bucklew was sentenced Tuesday afternoon following his guilty plea to a felony count of unlawful sex with a minor.
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San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael Popkins declined to impose sex offender registration at the sentencing hearing, but left the option open should Bucklew violate the terms of his probation.
Bucklew was also ordered to serve one year in custody, which Popkins said could be served in the County Parole and Alternative Custody electronic monitoring program, if he's eligible for the program.
Another court hearing was set for early March, at which time other custody options will be explored, should he not be accepted into the program.
Other probationary terms include no association or contact with minors.
Deputy District Attorney Jalyn Wang read a letter from Jane Doe, who the prosecutor said did not wish to appear at Bucklew's sentencing hearing.
The victim wrote that she's been in therapy on a weekly basis for the trauma she suffered, with no end in sight to the lingering feelings of guilt.
"Every day I find a new way to blame myself for what happened," Jane Doe wrote. "These feelings bring me to believe that I do not deserve anything, that I do not matter, that I am a constant burden to the world."
Wang and the victim's parents urged the judge to impose lifetime sex offender registration due to a variety of factors, including the significant age difference and Bucklew's position of authority in the relationship as a school employee.
Wang said Bucklew groomed the victim and maintained his relationship with Jane Doe in a secretive manner, indicating he was aware it was inappropriate. Wang said that upon his arrest, Bucklew directed the girl to delete messages sent between them.
Wang said Jane Doe leaned on Bucklew for emotional support amid various issues going on in her life, which Bucklew took advantage of to initiate the physical component of the relationship.
Bucklew addressed the court and said he was "extremely apologetic" to Jane Doe and her family.
He said he's always tried to make himself available as a friend or coach for people to talk to, as happened with Jane Doe.
"I see now and I acknowledge my actions were unlawful and where I should have drawn the line, I didn't," Bucklew said. "I'm sincerely sorry.
"I never intended to put Jane Doe or anyone else in a position where their safety, security or welfare was threatened in any way whatsoever. I'm so sorry for everything that's happened."
Through tears, Bucklew told the court, "I'm not a predator. I'm not a threat to the community. I'm sorry for the pain I've caused, for my errors in judgment and mistakes I've made during this time."