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Former Woburn Basketball Coach Pleads Guilty to Raping Child

Jason Coughlin, 33, of Woburn, pleaded guilty to rape of a child in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn.

Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn. Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn. Photo credit: Patch file photo.

A Woburn basketball coach pleaded guilty to raping a children after a jury found him guilty of additional charges related to an underage player he coached.

Jason Coughlin, 33, of Woburn, pleaded guilty to rape of a child in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn. Coughlin coached for Mass Elite AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Basketball and was fired by the organization after the charges were filed against him in 2011.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said Coughlin was found guilty by a jury at the end of February of: enticement of a child, posing a child in a state of nudity, dissemination of matter harmful to a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and violation of a harassment prevention order. 

After Coughlin later pleaded guilty to rape of a child, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Maureen Hogan sentenced the Woburn man last Thursday to 5 to 7 years in prison on the charge of rape with 4 ½ to 5 years in prison on the charge of enticement of a child to run concurrent with that sentence. He also received 17 years probation on the charges of “dissemination of matter harmful to a minor to begin immediately and run concurrently with the prison sentence,” said the DA.

“On the remaining counts, the defendant was sentenced to 10 years of probation to begin at the conclusion of the period of incarceration. During the probation, the defendant was ordered to stay away and have no contact—direct or indirect—with the victim or her family; to have no unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 18; to not work as a coach or engage in any employment or volunteer work involving any child under the age of 18; to submit to a sex offender evaluation and complete sex offender treatment; to submit to a mental health evaluation and complete any follow-up treatment deemed necessary; to sign required medical releases to allow probation to monitor his treatment compliance; to register as a sex offender and to comply with the regulations of the Sex Offender Registry Board; and to be subject to and comply with GPS monitoring,” according to the DA’s office.

According to law enforcement, the Woburn man contacted a 13-year-old girl, who he was coaching, outside of practice, “initially about basketball and then about becoming his girlfriend” in fall 2010. He continued to contact her for several months on a “secret phone” that he purchased for her to speak with him.

“Authorities discovered hundreds of hours of incoming and outgoing telephone calls between the defendant and the victim in that time period.  As well, there were more than 13,000 text messages exchanged between them, the content of which was sexually explicit in nature. These messages also contained numerous references to the exchange of nude pictures that were requested by the defendant of the victim. The defendant regularly encouraged the child to leave her house to meet him without telling anyone. 

“At a time that the defendant was supposed to be coaching the team, he brought the victim into a separate part of the gym where he touched her inappropriately.  He also touched her inappropriately after he and the victim attended a local youth basketball game. Even after the defendant had been confronted about his behavior, and there was a harassment order in place, he continued to have contact with the victim,” according to the DA’s office.  

“This defendant used his position of authority as a coach to take advantage of a young player on his team, violating the trust placed in him by the victim and her family,” District Attorney Ryan said. “His conduct was egregious and demonstrated his disregard for the well-being of a young person that he was entrusted with supervising and mentoring.”

Here is previous coverage of the case: 

Sept. 21, 2011: Former Coach Indicted on Child Sex Charges

May 10, 2011: Mass Elite Fired Coach After Allegations of an Inappropriate Relationship

May 10, 2011: State Alleges 31-Year-Old Man Engaged in Inappropriate Relationship With Teen
Mike Smalls April 03, 2014 at 08:02 PM
Seven years? Thats it? Jason Coughlin is a degenerate. I hope everyone in his cell block is notified he is a perv
David Kimmelman April 04, 2014 at 09:35 AM
In the state of MA coaches are supposed submit CORI forms as a means of background checking to hopefully prevent this type of situation. I may be mistaken, but I believe the CORI forms only cover state-wide background checks. If that is the case, I recommend that ALL youth sports teachers be fingerprinted as part of a national database, so if someone moved from state to state, they could be properly background checked. Massachusetts passed legislation last year the ALL teachers must now be fingerprinted, and this should be a standard procedure for any adult that takes part in working with children. As for Coughlin, may he experience the same abuse, physically and mentally that he inflicted. That would be justice!
9mom7 April 04, 2014 at 10:32 AM
This "coach" had been involved with the Recreation Travel basketball program for several years, both boys and girls. Not mentioned in many articles. Parents please remember that you are the "wedge" between your child and any adult. After many complaints of verbally abusive behavior toward the children he was supposed to be teaching, we were all told not to talk about coaches in front of our children so as to not drive a wedge between them and the coach. Bad advice. Maybe if there were a little more scrutiny of this person's coaching techniques, the crime that he rightfully plead guilty to would have been averted by removing him from access to his victim.

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