RICHLAND — A former assistant girl's basketball coach has been charged with having sexual contact with a player while employed by the Richland School District.
Trevor Dwight Franklin, 26, of Stoutland, was charged on March 13 in Pulaski County following a lengthy investigation by the Missouri Highway Patrol. A warrant has been issued for Franklin's arrest. Bond is set at $50,000.
The charge stems from Franklin's alleged relationship with a minor while employed as a staff member of the district in late 2012.
According to the report filed by Missouri Highway Patrol, Franklin allegedly developed a relationship with an unidentified female student after sharing his phone number with her.
The victim told investigators she was given Franklin's cell phone number during basketball season in order to ask him questions concerning the sport. An exchange of text messages between the student and Franklin began on November 15 and continued through November 30. More than 4,300 messages were shared during that time period with more than 400 more sent to the victim by Franklin than she sent to him.
According to the victim, soon after the text exchanges began, Franklin allegedly brought up sexual topics in his messages. She told officials that the sexual comments made her uncomfortable and she referred to Franklin as a 'creeper.' The victim also told investigators she felt as if Franklin led her to believe that he was interested in her romantically and went so far as to tell her that he planned on divorcing his wife after the first of the year and allegedly invited the victim to come to his home while his family was gone.
The victim said she told him that she would not have sexual intercourse until she was married. He allegedly expressed interest in having a long term relationship with the victim and spoke of the two moving in together after she graduated from high school.
Court documents said the victim said on two different occasions the two kissed. Once at a fast food restaurant and another time while on the Richland High School grounds when school was not in session. Franklin also allegedly held the victims hand on a school bus while traveling home from a basketball game.
At one point in the relationship, Franklin allegedly asked the victim to meet him at his truck while at a basketball tournament at the school in Laquey. The school's surveillance video system confirmed that the two left the building together.
According to the victim, Franklin instructed her to delete all of the text messages they had exchanged, including a photos.
The report contains graphic sexual language that Franklin allegedly used when speaking to the victim and others who knew of the relationship.
According to Richland Superintendent Joe Ridgeway, Franklin is no longer employed by the district. The Richland school district released a statement regarding the situation, "It has recently come to our attention that a former district assistant basketball coach, Mr. Trevor Franklin, was charged with sexual contact with student.
We want to ensure all students, parents, and patrons of the district that we are fully cooperating with law enforcement officials regarding this matter. Mr. Franklin is no longer a coach with the district and his employment ended on or about November 30, 2012. Student safety is the district's top priority and we will continue to ensure that all district students have a safe and positive learning environment."