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Former Pleasant Hill HS assistant coach, paraprofessional charged in sex crimes case with student

No longer employed at district
JustinKerscherMug.jpg
Posted at 11:22 AM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 12:45:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former Pleasant Hill High School assistant football coach and paraprofessional is facing 11 counts of sex crimes involving a 16-year-old student.

On Wednesday, Cass County prosecutors charged Justin Kerscher, 29, with several counts of sexual contact with a student, statutory sodomy, and furnishing pornographic material to a minor.

Investigators are reviewing the possibility of two more victims associated with the case.

Court documents say the alleged crimes took place between November 2021 and May 2022.

In an interview with the victim, social workers learned Kerscher and the victim first met at the high school and then continued their relationship on social media apps.

During conversations on social media, investigators say the exchanges turned sexual in nature.

Kerscher is then alleged to have met up with the victim several times in person, including at the Pleasant Hill city lake, where additional crimes are alleged to have occurred.

Court documents indicate that the district placed Kerscher on leave from the school on May 5, 2022, and advised him to not have contact with any staff or students.

In a statement Friday to KSHB 41, the district said they are fully cooperating with the investigation.

"Additional information cannot be shared," the district said in the statement. "However, we can assure you that the staff member in question is no longer employed by the district."

On the same day he was placed on leave, Kerscher is alleged to have contacted the victim and told her to "delete everything."

Authorities took Kerscher into custody on Thursday, requesting a $500,000 bond.

An arraignment is set for 9 a.m. on June 30, 2022.

Editor's note: This story includes Kerscher's mug shot due to his public position in addition to the investigation of potential additional victims.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.