Bond set for coach accused of student sex assault

Kevin Jones is charged with sexual assault.

January 25, 2013 4:16:34 PM PST
Bond has been set at $500,000 for a basketball coach at EPIC Academy Charter School in Chicago accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old student he offered a ride home.

Police say Kevin Jones, 33, was giving the victim a ride home from school when he assaulted her in the car. He had also given a second girl a ride home, but she left before the alleged assault took place, police said.

Jones, who is a husband and a father of two, faces two counts of criminal sex assault, and one count of attempted criminal sexual assault. He coached the varsity boys basketball team.

He has been suspended from EPIC.

The charges proved to be too much for the family of one of the victims. The victim's mother heard the details of the crime and yelled, "That's my child!" during the bond hearing. The mother was escorted out of the courthouse as she continued to be upset.

"I'd say it was more of an emotional outburst by family members trying to come to grips with the terrible crime that has been committed," said Brad Cosgrove, victim's attorney.

Prosecutors say onJanuary 17, he was giving two teenaged girls a ride home from a game.

"The offender drove both victims to an alley and parked his car and then got into the back seat of the car with both victims," said Joell Zahr, Cook County assistant state's attorney.

Jones allegedly unzipped his pants and tried to force one girl into a sex act, but she escaped. As she stood in the alley calling for a ride home, the teenager witnessed Jones engaging in a sex act with her friend.

Zahr said he offender drove that victim home while the other victim told a friend and teacher the next day. The victim who stayed in the car told her mother days later, Zahr said.

"There were other instances of inappropriate incidences by the coach," Cosgrove said.

A friend of the victim said the inappropriate conduct between the coach and the victim started a few months ago at Jones' daughter's birthday party, saying the coach tried to kiss the victim.

Jones' attorney denies his client has done anything wrong.

"At this point we're shocked about the allegations. He has led an exemplary life. We feel he is a very good guy and looking forward to going to trial and clearing his name," said suspect attorney Jeffrey Granich.

Jones also worked as a physical education teacher at LEARN Charter School on the South Side. On Friday, he was fired from that job.

The judge also ordered jones to have no contact with any children, except his own.

Jones is the process of getting his master's degree and is a deacon at his church.

"He should go to jail; you know right from wrong," a friend of the victim said. "I don't care she was underage or she came onto you. You should know that she's under 18. She's a little kid."

The victim's friend says the coach often made promises to female students like her.

"He actually comes off as a nice guy," the friend said. "He told me he could get me, like, scholarships."

Cosgrove, said the alleged sexual assault happened last week inside Jones' car while he was driving the alleged victim home.

There was another teenage girl in the car but she got out before the alleged assault took place, according to Cosgrove.

An attorney for EPIC Charter School said the school is cooperating with police and prosecutors. The South Side charter school opened in 2009.

The mother of the victim's friend says she is relieved authorities made an arrest.

"As a mother, I'm grateful. When you send your child to school, you don't expect your child to go to school and be raped," she said. "You think that their safety, as a parent, you don't concern yourself with things like that."