A hearing for a former Montana high school trainer accused of sexually abusing dozens of students has been delayed after the defendant asked to enter his guilty plea before a different judge.

James "Doc" Jensen, Jr. of Miles City had been scheduled to appear Monday before Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan to plead guilty to coercion and enticement.

At Jensen's request the plea hearing will be presided over by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen on March 12. Christensen has seniority and would likely preside over sentencing.

Jensen's attorney says he still intends to plead guilty. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

The investigation into his activities at Custer County District High School followed a lawsuit from former students, who say Jensen groomed and sexually abused them from the 1970s through the early 2000s.

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