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Former coach sentenced in minor case

Posted at 9:08 AM, Jul 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-12 09:08:48-04

There's more jail time ahead for a former volunteer coach convicted of accosting a minor.

Kenneth Tennant of Webberville was sentenced to six months behind bars today, with 52 days credit for time served.

FOX 47 was there as Tennant's punishment was handed down.

He chose not to make a statement during the hearing.

But Tennant did utter a few words before the sentence was handed down.

"Is there anything you'd like to share with me before I make my final decision," visiting judge Honorable Robert Ransom asked.  "I'd like to have the opportunity to go home and be with my family again," Tennant told the judge.

That's all the court heard from Tennant Wednesday morning.

The woman he touched inappropriately when she was 15 years old had more to say.

Samantha Driver was on the basketball team coached by Tennant's wife and was watching a movie at their home. She said she was laying on the bed with Tennant and his children.

Driver said, "I did not think that my life would've changed after that night but it certainly did"

She told the court at one point in the night the kids left. Driver said Tennant moved closer and started touching her leg.

Driver told the court, "he was sitting there with his hand right under my private area, my whole body went numb and I felt as if I was paralyzed and could not move away. He then whispered in my ear 'can I touch you.'"

Driver described herself as hurt, betrayed and confused.

"I trusted Kenny and he gave me a sense of safety, he took advantage of that and me," said Driver.

She locked that secret away for several years, out of fear

Through text messages, Driver said Tennant, "told me that he did not do anything wrong and If I was ever to tell anyone then I would the one that ruined his family and that he would kill himself."

Tennant's attorney, Patrick O'Keefe, called his client a devoted husband and father and asked the judge to release him with time served.

"We must not allow one offense to define 48 years of a man's life, I agree there is a time for healing for the survivors there's also a time for healing for Mr. Tennant and for his family," said Patrick O'Keefe, Tennant's lawyer.

The judge wasn't having it.

"You violated the trust that not only she but all the girls on the basketball team placed in you and you violated the trust that all of their families placed in you," said Hon. Ransom.

Tennant could be released on a tether or work release after serving 90 days, that will be up to the sheriff.

From there, he'll have to be on probation for five years.