BY ART BUKOWSKI
TRAVERSE CITY — A former elementary basketball coach’s husband is charged with a criminal misdemeanor after authorities said he broke a rule designed to keep sex offenders away from children.
Jared Jay Buchner, 38, is charged with working or loitering in a student safety zone as a registered sex offender, a one-year misdemeanor. He hadn’t been arrested Thursday.
Buchner, of Blair Township, is on the sex offender registry after a 2002 third-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction. His wife, Jessica Buchner, was a volunteer basketball coach for second- and third-grade girls at Cherry Knoll Elementary until her ouster a few weeks ago.
On Nov. 16, Cherry Knoll Principal Chris Parker saw Jessica Buchner exit the gym while her team practiced and went inside to make sure someone was watching the children.
Parker saw Jared Buchner passing basketballs to the team as they practiced free throws.
Parker said he found out Jared Buchner was a sex offender, so he contacted police. He also dismissed Jessica Buchner — who said she left to get ice for one of the students — from coaching. There were no allegations that Jared Buchner did anything inappropriate with any children, a police report said.
Among other restrictions, Michigan law prohibits registered sex offenders from working or loitering in an area within 1,000 feet of a school.
Neither Buchner could be reached for comment.
Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent Steve Cousins said he’s glad to hear of the charge.
“I think people have to take responsibility for their behavior,” he said. “They have to live by the rules that are (given) if they commit an offense like that.”