CHARLOTTE (WWJ/AP) – A mid-Michigan science teacher and swim coach is on trial for sexual assault charges involving two male students.

Jason Algra’s trial began Monday in Eaton County Circuit Court and is expected to last through the week. The 34-year-old faces three first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges and five second-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.

The teens testified that their relationships with Algra first grew through Facebook and text messaging, and eventually progressed to a sexual level, The Lansing State Journal reported. One teen said he was 17-years-old when the relationship started in 2011; the other was 15-years-old.

Defense lawyer Frank Reynolds said during opening statements that witnesses, however, will testify Algra was elsewhere when some of the alleged sex acts took place.

“During the course of this trial, you will learn Mr. Algra was with people who will come in and testify he couldn’t have been where (one of the victims) says he was,” Reynolds said.

Officials say Algra is on unpaid suspension from Grand Ledge High School. School officials say they learned of misconduct allegations against Algra in 2011, and immediately placed him on leave. He was later charged in the case.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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