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Mark Stodghill, Forum News Services, Published May 31 2013

New assault charges against former Duluth basketball coach

A former Duluth youth basketball coach accused of sexually assaulting two preteen girls has been charged with sexually assaulting another girl — a teenager he coached.

Wendell Anthony Greene, 37, is charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in a criminal complaint made public Thursday.

According to the latest criminal complaint against Greene:

The alleged victim and her mother met with a Duluth police liaison officer at a city high school on April 26. The girl told the officer that sometime during the spring, possibly April or May 2010 when she was 14, she had sexual intercourse with Greene at her home.

She said Greene would touch her on her side and give her attention during basketball practice. She said Greene had been her coach for about four years and that she had played in a basketball program called “The Race for Center Court.” She reported that she had sex multiple times with Greene.

The girl said she went on a family trip to another state and she began to think of her relationship with Greene. She wrote a letter to a friend telling her of the sexual relationship she had with the defendant. A Duluth police investigator with the Sex Crimes, Abuse, Neglect and Domestic Violence unit interviewed the alleged victim and the friend she wrote the letter to. The girl’s friend told the investigator that she knew the alleged victim had sex with Greene.

The alleged victim told the investigator that she and Greene had talked about the legality of what they were doing and that the defendant told her to keep it quiet. She said Greene knew how old she was.

Greene has been held in the custody of the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office on $75,000 bail since June when he was charged with sexually assaulting the two preteen girls. He is being housed in the Aitkin County Jail awaiting a September trial on the June charges.

Both alleged victims in the case filed against Greene in June told their stories at the First Witness Child Abuse Resource Center in Duluth. One of the girls said Greene used to be her basketball coach. Both girls said Greene molested them.

Defense attorney Thomas Skare is challenging the statements given by those two girls. Skare has told the court that there is evidence that one of the girls has a problem being truthful and is receiving counseling for that. Skare intends to call a national child psychology expert to testify at the September trial.

Greene coached and refereed in the Salvation Army Rookie Basketball Association from 2008-12. He said that he also coached seventh-grade girls at Duluth East High School in 2007-08, sixth-grade girls at Hermantown High School in 2009 and Duluth Amateur Youth Basketball Association from 2010-12.

The guideline sentence for someone convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with no prior criminal record is 12 years in prison.