Embattled Othello wrestling coach will not face criminal charges

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OTHELLO — Adams County prosecutors have declined to press charges against former Othello High School wrestling coach Jacob Jermaine “J.J.” Martinez, who resigned from that position in March following accusations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Prosecutors declined the matter, citing insufficient evidence to file criminal charges, according to prosecutor Randy Flyckt. The accusations of impropriety against the coach first surfaced in mid-February, according to officials with the Othello School District, and Martinez was promptly put on administrative leave pending an internal investigation. Martinez resigned before that investigation could be completed, however, and the case was referred to the Othello Police Department.

That investigation concluded in early July, when it was referred to the prosecutor’s office for possible charges. Martinez has strongly denied the accusations and has stated that the alleged victim has also denied any impropriety. Martinez has in turn accused the school district of railroading him.

“Mr. Martinez was given an ultimatum by the school, resign or be terminated,” said the law firm representing Martinez in a press release. “This was after not only Mr. Martinez denied these allegations, but after the student in question denied these allegations and her own family stood by Mr. Martinez. Despite the support, Mr. Martinez decided out of necessity to resign.”

The Othello School District did not respond to a request for comment. The Sun Tribune is awaiting documents and records that the district used to make its decision, release of which is expected in August.

Emry Dinman can be reached via email at edinman@columbiabasinherald.com

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