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Former Decatur coach found not guilty of sex crimes

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DECATUR —  A former Decatur high school basketball coach accused of luring a then 14-year-old student into a sexual relationship in 2018 was found not guilty Friday of all four charges against him.

Judge Jeffrey Geisler acquitted Dylan W. Nunn, 30, of two counts of indecent solicitation/aggravated criminal sexual abuse and two counts of grooming: using electronic communications to seduce a child into committing sex acts.

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Nunn, a former freshman girls coach at Eisenhower High School, represented himself in the bench trial. During a bench trial, the case is decided by the judge.

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In making his ruling, Geisler said he felt there were inconsistencies on both sides of the case. He also noted the prosecution carried the “burden of proof,” bearing the responsibility to prove Nunn committed the counts against him beyond a reasonable doubt. 

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That burden of proof is heavy, Geisler said. 

“Certainly, in no way or form am I saying that (Nunn) is innocent,” Geisler said. “But I do have reasonable doubts.” 

The state’s case largely hinged on testimony from the girl involved, who said Nunn sent her Snapchat messages asking her to commit sexual acts on him and vice versa. She testified as much on the stand, but Nunn denied the allegations. No screenshots of the alleged sexual solicitations were provided as evidence during the trial. 

Nunn called himself as his final witness on Friday afternoon. On the stand, he said the girl’s testimony was false. Later, during his closing argument, Nunn said the state’s entire case was built on lies. 

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“They can’t come here and tell you about stories and fairytales that didn’t happen and present it to you as evidence,” Nunn said to the judge. 

Special Prosecutor Kate Kurtz argued Nunn was not a credible witness and conducted an inappropriate relationship with the 14-year-old girl. Kurtz referenced evidence of goodnight messages on Snapchat from Nunn to the girl which contained “heart eyes emojis.” 

Kurtz also pointed to an interrogation video shown to the court in which a detective asked Nunn if the girl in question had ever asked him for a kiss.

In the interrogation video, Nunn was seen telling the detective that she had. But some time after his questioning, Nunn said he hadn’t known the girl’s true feelings for him until later on. 

Some evidence had also been recovered during phone searches, including a picture of the girl wearing just a swimsuit or underwear which was found on a cell phone used by the girl. The girl testified that she sent a similar image to Nunn, and he later confirmed during questioning by police and on the stand that he received such an image. 

“Worst thing I’ve ever seen from her is, looks like she had on a swimsuit but her top was covered,” Nunn said in the interrogation video shown to the court. 

Nunn’s case has a link to another child sex crimes case, this one involving former Eisenhower softball coach Matthew E. Krause. Krause, 30, is pleading not guilty to charges of grooming and of sexual exploitation involving the same student. He has a settlement conference set for Oct. 14. 

Contact Taylor Vidmar at (217) 421-6949. Follow her on Twitter: @taylorvidmar11. 

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