Canandaigua, N.Y. --- A former youth sports coach in Canandaigua accused of child sex abuse turned down a plea deal Friday that would have meant 20 years in prison.
Police say Leslie Hooke coached in order to entice young boys to his home so he could sexually abuse them.
Hooke currently faces a criminal sex act charge for his alleged dealings with a 12-year-old boy. Investigators have produced statements from at least four other potential victims that Hooke had a chance to consider before rejecting the plea offer on Friday.
“The statements that have been presented to us by the District Attorney's Office have been reviewed with Mr. Hooke, he finds them to be untrue and he's contesting the allegations at this point,” Hooke’s lawyer Aaron Serrano said. “That's why he's rejecting the offer.”
"At this point I think what we're going to end up doing is coordinating with the other counties to see what types of efforts those jurisdictions are ready to proceed with,” said Ontario County Assistant District Attorney Jason MacBride. “But we're ready to proceed now, we're ready to get this case into the grand jury and see what happens.”
13WHAM News has also learned the investigation into Hooke could include more than a dozen victims across five counties in Western New York. Sources confirmed investigators have developed evidence against Hooke in Wayne, Seneca, Yates, Steuben, and Ontario County.
While Hooke also served as a volunteer firefighter in at least two communities across those counties authorities believe it was his time spent as a volunteer youth sports coach that allowed him access to potential victims.
"Based upon the recent developments in Pennsylvania with Jerry Sandusky I think that it's gotten to the point where it's really hard for parents to trust anyone and that's really sad,” said A.D.A. MacBride. “It is the people's belief that Mr. Hooke abused his position of authority and his volunteering with kids in an effort to prey on them and took advantage of the parent's kindness and generosity and we're looking forward to getting justice for them.”
A grand jury presentation of evidence against Hoke is expected in January.