South Bend man pleads guilty to soliciting minor at Niles hotel
Published 11:33 am Wednesday, August 17, 2022
NILES — A South Bend man who served as a youth hockey coach in the area has pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor at a Niles area hotel.
Christien Joubert’s plea came at a court hearing late last week, Berrien County Assistant Prosecutor Jerry Vigansky said. Joubert is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 26 before Berrien County Trial Judge Sterling Schrock.
Vigansky said Joubert pleaded guilty to two counts: the original count of accosting a minor for immoral purposes and a reduced count of using a computer or the internet to commit a crime. Both carry maximum penalties of four years in prison. Joubert remains free on $5,000 cash or surety bond.
Joubert had been set for trial starting Aug. 31 in Niles. On the reduced count, he had originally been charged with communicating with another person to commit a crime which is a 20 year felony.
According to earlier reports, Joubert is a hockey coach and director of a youth, high school and adult hockey league program in South Bend, Ind.
Police reports and charging documents alleged that Joubert arranged to meet an underage girl for sex at the Hampton Inn in Niles on May 12. When he arrived and knocked on the door, a police officer answered and Joubert was arrested.
Joubert told police that he thought he was communicating with an underage girl when he was actually in contact with a police officer. He said he had found the person on a website called skipthegames.com. He initially thought that the girl was 19 but the person later said they were 15.
He told police that he was struggling with his decision to meet the girl and had never actually met anyone before when using that website. He also admitted to sending explicit photos to the person he planned to meet in Niles.