PROVO — The coach of a competition baseball team in Springville was found guilty Tuesday of sexually abusing a teenage boy he coached and employed.
After a five-day trial and nearly eight hours of deliberation, a jury convicted Michael Aram Jenkins, 48, of sexually abusing the boy, who was 16 at the time, as they regularly exchanged full-body massages with little or no clothing.
In a preliminary hearing last year, the teen said Jenkins would request full-body rubdowns, calling them "the regular massage." Despite feeling uncomfortable with what was happening, the teen said he only objected on a few occasions, concerned for his job.
The teen had met Jenkins a few years earlier when playing baseball with the coach's son and over time he had gone to him for help training. When the boy needed money in late 2015 for the traveling competition baseball team that Jenkins led, the coach hired him to do cleaning and data entry for his janitorial business, as he had with other players.
In between the two desks in his locked office, the teen said Jenkins would strip down to his underwear and have the teen give him massages. Eventually Jenkins began offering the teen massages in return to loosen up muscles that were sore from playing baseball.
On at least 10 occasions, the teen testified that Jenkins briefly touched him inappropriately. He said he didn't know whether the contact was accidental.
Police were contacted after another player who worked for Jenkins came into the office during one of the massages and then went and talked to an adult, the teen said.
Charges were filed against Jenkins in April 2016. He was found guilty Tuesday of four counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, and two counts of lewdness, a class B misdemeanor.
Sentencing in the case was scheduled for Sept. 7.