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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

Alleged Sex with Minor Arrest Prompts Outrage

School officials condemn suspected conduct by a Santa Barbara High assistant tennis coach.

Angry Santa Barbara school officials called a news conference Monday to express their dismay over a Santa Barbara High assistant tennis coach arrested last week on suspicion of having sex with a 16-year-old girl.{mosimage}

“We have a covenant to protect students,” said Santa Barbara schools Superintendent Brian Sarvis, referring to the allegations against Peter Jeschke, 34. “And I and members of the staff, we are outraged that someone might breach that code.”

“Frankly, I want this guy behind bars,” Sarvis said of Jeschke, who as of Monday afternoon remained in jail on $100,000 bail, officials said.

Jeschke was arrested after several students other than the alleged victim went to administrators Dec. 11 to express their concerns about what they had heard from the student, whose name is being withheld because she is a minor. Santa Barbara police said she is �associated with� the tennis team.

The school staff members immediately contacted police and terminated Jeschke�s contract. Jeschke was a walk-on coach, meaning he was hired one season at a time for a small stipend.

Police arrested Jeschke on Friday while he drove his car on Hot Springs Road. In addition to the allegation that he had sex with a minor, Jeschke had an outstanding warrant in connection with a November DUI in Torrance, and so was not supposed to be driving, said police Lt. Paul McCaffrey, a department spokesman who also spoke at the news conference at the school district offices, 720 Santa Barbara St.

The ensuing investigation took authorities to Jeschke�s Montecito home, where they seized a small amount of marijuana, McCaffrey said.

A telephone call to Jeschke�s home Monday afternoon was not answered.

Officials said the alleged unlawful sex occurred in late November, at a residence that Jeschke was house-sitting on the upper Eastside.

Jeschke joined the school district during the 2005-06 school year, working as a volunteer coach. A background check prior to his involvement with the district turned up nothing questionable, officials said.

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During the 2006-07 school year, Jeschke was hired to work as a walk-on coach for both the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams. He was paid $1,165 per season.

Nan Verkaik, the school district�s athletic director, said Jeschke is a competent tennis coach.

�He�s been coaching tennis in the community for a long time,� she said.

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