Trial date moved for Superior gymnastics coach accused of sex assault
George Francis Deppa's trial, originally scheduled to start Tuesday, Sept. 27, has been moved to January.
SUPERIOR — The Douglas County Circuit Court trial date for a former gymnastics coach accused of sexually assaulting three children in Superior has been rescheduled for January.
George Francis Deppa, 49, of Superior, faces three counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of exposing genitals to a child.
Deppa's four-day jury trial had initially been slated to start Sept. 27. It was moved to Jan.17-20, 2023 last month to allow Judge Kelly Thimm time to rule on whether evidence from Minnesota cases against Deppa would be admitted at trial.
Deppa is facing child sex assault charges involving two reported victims in State District Court in St. Louis County. Deppa has also been charged with three counts of production of child pornography in federal court , according to Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger.
On Monday, Sept. 19, Thimm denied Douglas County District Attorney Mark Fruehauf’s motion to admit the evidence from Minnesota. The judge expressed concerns about the relevancy of the other acts and the possibility of confusion for the jury, according to online court records. Including the Minnesota acts would be cumulative and more prejudicial than probative, Thimm said.
Deppa was charged in Douglas County Circuit Court May 5, 2021 with two counts of sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age and one count of exposing genitals. He is accused of sexually touching two teenage students and trying to “make out” with them while they were out for rides in his boat and during sleepovers at his Superior home, according to the criminal complaint.
A third count of sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age was filed roughly two and a half weeks later. It alleges that Deppa, a coach at Twin Ports Gymnastics, sexually touched a third student during a private coaching session in July. The victim reported the incident to her parents after seeing news coverage of Deppa’s arrest for sexual assault.
The former gymnastics coach remains in custody at the Douglas County Jail. Cash bail of $100,000 has been set for the two Douglas County cases. Deppa was ordered to have no contact with the victims, minors or the Superior School District. His next court appearance was set for Jan. 4, 2023.