Peotone junior high basketball coach convicted of sending girl explicit texts

- A south suburban junior high basketball coach has been convicted of sending explicit texts to groom a girl for a sexual relationship.

Following a bench trial, Will County Circuit Judge Daniel Kennedy found 50-year-old Samuel Burks guilty Monday of two felony counts of grooming, according to a statement from the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Burks, who coached girls basketball at Peotone Junior High School at the time, started texting one of his players in June 2016 “describing sexual acts and requesting nude photographs from her,” prosecutors said. The girl’s mother caught the girl getting into Burks’ car and found the “graphic” messages on her daughter’s phone.

Burks, who is set to be sentenced Sept. 6, faces 10 years on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry and up to three years in prison, the state’s attorney’s office said. He is also eligible for probation.

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