Trial Wraps Up For Kelsea Joy Hepburn, Ringette Coach Charged With Sexual Interference

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KELSEA JOY HEPBURN COACH TEEN
As the trial for former ringette coach Kelsea Joy Hepburn wraps up, one question remains: was her relationship with a teen player a joke or an illicit affair? (Handout) | Handout

As the trial for former ringette coach Kelsea Joy Hepburn wraps up, one question remains: was her relationship with a teen player a joke or an illicit affair?

Lawyers made their final arguments Thursday, giving two different accounts of the events which led to sexual interference charges against Hepburn.

According to the Calgary Herald, Hepburn's defence lawyer, Maureen McConaghy, backed her client, arguing there was nothing sexual between coach and player and that the whole thing was a joke between two friends.

“This is not a case of what could have happened or what might have happened, it’s a case of what did happen,” McConaghy told the jury of eight women and four men.

“Kelsey, being young and immature, is placed in a difficult position. But to assert this rises to the level of criminal conduct is an over-reach.”

Court heard earlier this week that Hepburn and the teen had both been caught with their pants down by the girl's mother one afternoon in March of 2011.

“Everyone has a moment of inexplicability and the right thing to do was to stop it, and she did,” McConaghy argued, according to the Herald. “After the mother came in, she ran and hid. She said she was scared.

“Both (the girl) and Kelsea said nothing happened. You can’t say because she has a guilty mind that something happened. In that moment in the basement, there was nothing done to violate her sexual integrity.”

However, Crown prosecutor Vicki Faulkner painted Hepburn's behaviour as much more manipulative and predatory.

There were months of sexual fantasy in texts ... the text banter is sexual,” the Herald reports Faulkner as saying. “The accused says the complainant is ‘not weird at all. She says if you were 18, this would be a normal relationship.’

“‘But I’m not normal, I’m a predator.' There were months and months of text messages that show that to be the case."

Hepburn was emotional as she addressed the court, reports the Calgary Sun.

"I made a poor decision, I'm not a bad person," Hepburn said.

"I have done nothing but come forward and co-operate with everything.

"The whole situation, the way it built up was an accident, a mistake, I know it was wrong but I tried to draw lines ... it just happened, I don't know what else to say."

Hepburn, 24, testified Wednesday that she did everything she could to keep her distance from the 13-year-old girl who she described as a mixed-up child who would not leave her alone.

The girl's mother testified Tuesday that her daughter was going through a tough time and had confided in the coach.

She said she herself had recently been diagnosed with cancer and her daughter was also grieving the death of her grandmother.

The mom said the girl went to the coach in a moment of weakness.

The jury will begin to deliberate the case today.

(With files from the Canadian Press)

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