HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – A former high school football coach who faced trial in a sex crimes case, instead opted to plead guilty. Rather than face trial, William "Mac" Leighton -31 years old- pleaded guilty to three felony counts of indecent liberties with female students, who were 15 and 17 years old at the time.
Coach William Leighton ignored the camera, knowing just moments later, he would be a convicted felon. The married, former head football coach at J. R. Tucker High School pleaded guilty in a case that began in the fall of 2008.
Prosecutors say there were two students. One was 15 years old, the other 17. One girl helped with the football team. The other girl was a member of Leighton's government class.
In both cases, prosecutors say the relationships began consensually. There was daily texting and flirtatious behavior but things would soon become much more serious.
Eventually, both relationships with the girls were happening at the same time, and each was told to keep quiet. According to prosecutors, the coach even told one of them that he would quote, "body slam" her, if she told anyone.
According to prosecutors, Leighton started requesting nude photos from the girls. He got them two to three times a month from the first girl and about a hundred times from the second girl. Prosecutors say he told the younger girl, he was in love with her, and three times requested sex in the field house behind the school...only to be denied.
With the second girl, prosecutors say Leighton also professed his love, and did have sexual contact -but not intercourse- twice in the bedroom of his house.
The students eventually talked and Leighton was arrested in May. He is no longer employed by Henrico schools, but remains a free man on $50,000 bond. Leighton, who had no comment, faces a maximum of five years in prison on each of the three guilty pleas. Prosecutors say they will be pushing for incarceration when that sentence is given in February.