The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office has charged a Kenner gymnastics teacher with 24 counts related to sexual abuse of a dozen juveniles over the last three years.
Jonathan West, 26, was charged in a bill of information Wednesday with 10 counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, eight counts of sexual battery, two counts of oral sexual battery, three counts of sexual battery of a child under 13 and one count of computer solicitation of a minor.
West was arrested on May 31 after four boys spoke to police in Kenner about alleged abuse; other boys came forward in the following months.
West is accused of inappropriate touching, masturbating in front of at least some of the boys and sending sexually explicit images to others. He asked for a picture of one boy’s genitals, officials have said.
Authorities allege that some of the abuse took place while West drove the boys to gymnastics practice at gyms where he coached, including New Orleans Outlaws Gym in Kenner.
The case was allotted to Judge Stephen Enright of 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna.
West, who faces decades in prison if convicted, has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is being held in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.
He is also accused of molesting at least six boys in St. Charles Parish, where he worked at Flipnastics Gym.
In 2011, when he was 19, West and another man were accused of raping a woman in her car in Uptown New Orleans, and in 2012 he was accused of sexually abusing a 3-year-old boy in Kenner. He was not charged in either case.