JACKSON – An ex-high school football coach who spent a long career in Mississippi and Alabama was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in federal prison in a molestation case involving teenage boys.
Dwight Bowling was sentenced in federal court in Greenville, Miss., said Krisi Allen, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office.
Bowling's attorney, Christi McCoy, did not immediately respond to a call.
Bowling coached for 28 years at Smithville High School in Monroe County, Miss., before retiring and taking a job at Sulligent High in Sulligent, Ala.
Bowling was coaching for the Alabama school when he was arrested in September in Mississippi on his way home from a game. Authorities said a 13-year-old boy who was with Bowling at the time of his arrest accused him of improper touching.
A sweeping investigation uncovered at least four victims -- boys between the ages of 13 and 18.
The abuse happened at "Bowling's home, while fishing or at high school athletic complexes," court records said.
Authorities filed more than a dozen state and federal charges against Bowling in Mississippi, with counts ranging from sexual battery to attempting to bribe a witness.
He pleaded guilty in April to two federal counts of taking a minor across state lines, from Mississippi to Alabama, for sex. He also pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction for trying to get a victim to lie. Authorities said they secretly recorded a conversation in which Bowling offered to pay the victim to lie about whether they'd had a sexual relationship. Those are the crimes for which he was sentenced Tuesday.
Bowling also pleaded guilty in June to numerous state court charges of luring teenage boys into having sex. The plea covered charges filed against him in Monroe and Itawamba counties in Mississippi.