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FALMOUTH, Ky. - The part-time volleyball coach accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a middle schooler entered a plea of not guilty in front of a Pendleton County, Ky. judge Tuesday morning.
Before appearing before the judge, Eric Deters said his client, Cassandra "Cassie" Elfers, did not have sex with a middle school student.
"My guess is that this charge would stem out of touching," said Deters.
The 20-year-old is charged with sex abuse in the first degree. She was arrested Jan. 18 for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old boy.
Deters says during the time the alleged incident happened, Elfers was serving as the assistant coach of a basketball team the boy played on. Elfers' ex-boyfriend was the head coach of the team.
"I also understand from this client that this young man was the constant companion of her boyfriend, whatever reason, I don't know. But they were always together, always hanging out. The relationship between the young man and this coach was much more than a normal coaching relationship. They were more like big brother, little brother," explained Deters.
Deters says the basketball team isn't associated with the Pendleton County school system.
The Pendleton County school system tells 9 On Your Side it was made aware of rumors the part-time volleyball coach was having an inappropriate relationship with a student earlier this month. The school district says it acted immediately by making sure Elfers had no further contact with students.
Elfers graduated from Dixie Heights High School in 2010 and was a member of school's volleyball team. She attended Dixie Heights while Sarah Jones, also a client of Deters, was still teaching at the school. Deters says before Elfers contacted him, she first reached out to Jones for advice.
"She's doing alright. She's embarrassed, but she's got the support of her parents, and her grandparents, and her friends," said Deters.
Elfers current bond of $2,500 was continued. If convicted, she could face one to five years in prison.
Elfers is scheduled to next appear in court Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. for a preliminary hearing in Pendleton County.
Stay with 9 On Your Side and KyPost.com for updates on this story.