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Former coach pleads guilty to sex with student

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A former Courtland High School assistant football coach was convicted this week of having consensual sex with a student and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Keith Bradley Pendleton, 35, of Spotsylvania County pleaded guilty to the two misdemeanor charges as part of a plea agreement in Spotsylvania Circuit Court Monday.

In exchange for his guilty plea, a second charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and a felony count of distributing drugs to a minor were dropped.

He was sentenced to two years in jail with all but three month suspended.

The investigation began last May 17, when deputies were investigating another case.

The matter was turned over to the county Department of Social Services after a 17-year-old senior at Courtland High School told a deputy that she had a sexual relationship with Pendleton.

During an interview, the girl told social workers that she and Pendleton had begun sending text messages to each other around Thanksgiving 2012, and that he told her he was interested in her.

On Jan. 14, 2013, Pendleton rented a room at the Ramada Inn at Southpoint, where the two smoked marijuana and had consensual sex, according to the plea agreement.

The victim “stated that Keith knew she was under 18 because she told him more than once and she knew that Keith was married and had children,” the agreement said.

Pendleton initially denied the sexual relationship, but later admitted that it happened just once. He also said he did purchase the marijuana and motel room, but didn’t smoke it with her or spend the night.

Pendleton was an assistant football and track coach at Courtland. He was also a paraeducator and was listed on the Spotsylvania County Schools’ website as an online class facilitator.

According to school officials, Pendleton is no longer an employee of the school system.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Crystal Montague said that Pendleton was never the girl’s teacher or coach.

Pendleton was represented by defense attorney Mark Gardner.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419