LOGAN — The jury trial for Jeena Nilson began Tuesday afternoon. The 60-year-old Providence woman, who previously was sentenced to prison for sexually abusing a child, is accused of neglecting to properly register as a sex-offender.
The trial began in 1st District Court with attorneys selecting the jurors. The five men and three women will decide whether the defendant is guilty of one to four counts of failing to register as a sex-offender, a third-degree felony.
During opening arguments Wednesday morning, state attorney Spencer Walsh said Nilson didn’t follow the rules as part of her sentencing for pleading guilty to sexually abusing a child in 2001. He explained that she didn’t disclose that she was working or volunteering at the Altius Gymnastics Academy. She also didn’t report her Facebook page, Linked In account or a Ford Ranger that was in her name.
Defense attorney Camille Neider argued that Nilson had updated her registry 33 times. She told the jury that registering was a confusing process and her client didn’t knowingly leave the information out.
Logan City Police Lt. Rod Peterson investigated the case. He told the jury that he began looking into Nilson after receiving multiple complaints in 2014, about her allegedly working at the gym. He later found her social media accounts and vehicle that were not reported in her sex-offender registry.
Prosecutors later called former USU gymnastics coach Ray Corn, who taught at Altius. He told the jury, he often saw Nilson helping out at the gym during class times. He described even confronting her several times, telling her that she shouldn’t be coaching children.
Several other witnesses later testified about seeing the defendant at the gym, during class times, and interacting with the kids. They also testified to seeing her participate at parades and other gym events.
In November 2002, Nilson was sentenced to one-to-15 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.
Previously, Rozann Moake, owner of Altius, said her mother worked at the school but said the charges against her are false and spurred by people’s gossip.
The trial is expected to conclude Thursday.
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