Former Banks High School softball coach sentenced for sex abuse
A sexual abuse case, which stirred the tight-knit community of Banks and implicated an assistant softball coach in 2019, has been resolved in Washington County Circuit Court.
Madison Soper, 25, has been sentenced to just under six years in prison for second-degree sexual abuse and attempting to commit a Class A felony, according to court documents filed on May 12. She will have seven years of probation.
Soper was an assistant softball coach for Banks High School during the 2016-17 season. Court records state that she engaged in sexual acts and exchanged sexually explicit videos with an underage member of the team.
She was arrested and indicted in late 2019 on numerous counts of sexual abuse, luring a minor, using a child in a display of sexually explicit content, and online sexual corruption of a child. She pleaded not guilty to these charges in December 2019.
Court records state that Soper "groomed" the victim for sexual abuse by "spending additional time and attention" on her. Between spring 2017 and summer 2019, Soper exchanged sexually explicit videos with the victim at least 20 times via Snapchat.
A trial was originally scheduled for April 21, 2020, but it was postponed due to coronavirus concerns, court records show.
Soper then amended her plea to guilty on two counts, one for second-degree sexual abuse and another for attempting to commit a felony.
More than a year later, Soper has been sentenced, bringing an end to the criminal proceedings in this case.
A civil complaint was filed in 2020 against the Banks School District and against team leadership, seeking $2.5 million in damages and alleging that district staff is liable for the abuse and the lack of investigation.
That case is still ongoing. Proceedings in the civil suit had been paused pending the outcome of the criminal case. That stay of proceedings has now been lifted.
The victim's father told Pamplin Media that following previous media reports, community members had targeted his daughter in social media comments and other public spaces.
"My experience so far has not been a positive one," he said. "(Soper) is going to prison … but that doesn't alleviate the damage to my daughter. My vent is more toward the community members who posted horrible things to the community bulletin board."
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