CHARLESTON -- A trial date was set Monday for an area youth basketball program coach accused of sex offenses with former players.
The June 19 trial setting for Barry S. Wolfe appeared tentative, however, as the case's attorneys both said there's a large amount of evidence to review and other factors that could affect the timing.
During Monday's court hearing for Wolfe, defense attorney Ed Piraino noted that some witnesses live out of state and that and the volume of materials made the scheduling "rather difficult."
Coles County State's Attorney Brian Bower also acknowledged the "significant" amount of evidence.
Bower agreed with Piraino's suggestion of scheduling a trial. But he also said waiting until May for the case's next status hearing, which Piraino also suggested, was too long of a delay.
Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien scheduled the trial date after the attorneys agreed to doing that on a tentative basis with an earlier hearing to review the case's status, which the judge set for April 19.
Wolfe, 53, of Martinsville is charged in two separate Coles County cases with taking part in sex acts with two teenage girls, who played on the team he coached, on several occasions between March 2013 and September 2015.
During Monday's hearing, Bower said he'll indicate at the April hearing which of the two cases the prosecution will take to trial first.
Wolfe remains jailed in Coles County, the only county in which he's currently charged. However, there have been indications that the alleged sexual conduct involved additional players and might have taken place in other counties and other states.
He was a coach and developer of the Central Illinois Storm, an area American Athletic Union basketball program for girls age 17 and younger in Illinois and Indiana.
Wolfe was arrested in October after one of his former players reportedly came forward to Mattoon police with allegations of his conduct, which led to the first charges against him.
A second case with additional charges alleging sexual conduct with a second former player was filed in November.
During a December bond hearing in the case, Mattoon police Deputy Chief Sam Gaines testified for the prosecution and said former players interviewed said Wolfe committed the sex acts while they were traveling for games.
Wolfe would call them to his hotel room, have them disrobe, then force them into sex acts, Gaines said. They included oral sex and digital penetration, he added.
Also according to Gaines, the alleged victims said Wolfe told them "I am your way to college" and the sexual conduct was part of showing their loyalty to him. He also said Mattoon police interviewed Wolfe shortly before his arrest in October and he admitted to the sexual conduct with the girls.
The charges in each case against Wolfe include counts of criminal sexual assault, some alleging he was in a position of authority over the girls when the sex acts took place.
A conviction for that offense requires a prison sentence of four to 15 years. And Bower has indicated that the sentence for each of those 17 counts for which Wolfe is convicted would have to be added together.
The other charges against Wolfe are multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, which can result in a prison sentence of three to seven years or up to four years of probation with a conviction.
Wolfe's bond is set at a level that would require $200,000 to be posted for release from jail.
Requirements for Wolfe if he does post bond include electronic home confinement and no contact with anyone who played in the basketball program or anyone younger than 18.