A Henrico cheerleading coach will serve 20 years in prison for having inappropriate sexual relationships with minors.
Maurice "Moe" Jerralds, 33, was found guilty on 11 of 13 charges in June. Prosecutors said he had inappropriate sexual conduct with five underage female students over a ten year time period beginning in early 2000. However, he was only convicted of having inappropriate sexual contact with four of them.
Two victims described drinking, sex, and inappropriate gifts from the coach during the trial. One claimed multiple intimate meetings at USA All-Stars gym in Henrico's West End. Neither was called to testify in court at the sentencing Wednesday. However, they submitted statements saying they were emotionally scarred and will need counseling due to the encounters.
Several character witnesses spoke in support of Jerralds, who has maintained his innocence. A fellow cheerleading coach, Christopher Nowell, testified Jerralds "saved his life" by taking him in when he was a teen.
"He encouraged me to get an education. I graduated high school because of him. He's a mentor -- a big brother to me," said Nowell.
Jerralds twin sister, Miranda, also testified, saying her brother provided $500 when she couldn't afford Christmas gifts for her kids. "I love my brother," she stated while walking out of court.
Friends of the victims call the sentence "light." especially since Jerralds was facing nearly a hundred years behind bars.
" I think it should have been life. I don't want him around any other girls," said Fiera Mustafic.
Another friend of the victims, Alex Arthur, added, " I love them and they should have never had to go through this."
Jerralds did not offer any comments during the sentencing. Judge Catherine Hammond called the case "unusual," due to the strong testimony from both sides.
A psychological evaluation conducted as part of the case found Jerralds has deviant sexual tendencies toward teenagers. However, defense attorneys said the doctor believed he could behave in a manner that's not harmful to the community at large.
Jerralds' father says despite the conviction and sentence the case is not closed.
"Justice was not served. We support him we love him it's not over with." said Michael Jerralds Sr.
Jerralds' attorney says they're considering an appeal. Prosecutors say they and the victims are satisfied with the outcome.
Jerralds faced similar charges in 2001, but was acquitted.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
WWBT-TV NBC 12
P.O. Box 12
On Your Side
Video and Pics