Detroit middle school coach accused of sexting with players will stand trial

Antoine Jones, 28, faces list of charges

DETROIT – A Detroit middle school basketball coach accused of exchanging sexually explicit text and social media messages with four teens who were on his team will stand trial on charges including criminal sexual conduct. 

Judge Shannon Holmes ordered 28-year-old Antoine Jones to trial on charges including: one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, seven counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of child sexually abusive activity, three counts of using a computer to commit a crime, three counts of distributing sexually explicit matter to children, one count of accosting for immoral purposes, and one count of aggravated indecent exposure.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Jones requested photos from the victims -- who range in age from 13 to 15 -- while he was coaching at A.L. Holmes Middle School between November 2014 and March 2016.

It also is alleged that he had inappropriate sexual contact with several of the players, Worthy said. Prosecutors said Friday during a preliminary hearing that Jones also masturbated in front of a student. Prosecution also said they expect even more charges to come now that it's been made public and more victims come forward. 

He is being held on a $1 million bond. 

Emanuel Walk's son plays on the basketball team, but wasn't a victim. Walk said his son was close to Jones, as many were.

"For him to violate that trust and take advantage like the way he did, there's no excuse for that. That's unforgivable," Walk said.

Walk said Jones has been at the school for about five years, starting as a security guard before he was promoted to Playworks coach and then the basketball coach.

The Detroit Public Schools district released the following statement when the charges were announced:

"Detroit Public Schools and its Police Department were made aware of allegations of inappropriate conduct by a former employee of AL Holmes Elementary-Middle School by the parent of a student at the school. Upon learning of the allegations against a member of their staff, the A.L. Holmes Principal followed District protocol and immediately removed the individual in question from the building and instructed the person to not have any interaction with students. After an investigation by the District’s Employee Relations Department, and in conjunction with evidence provided by the Detroit Public Schools Police Department from their ongoing investigation, as of today Mr. Jones' employment status changed from paid administrative leave to unpaid administrative leave. This morning, Detroit Public Schools Police Officers arrested the individual in question on a 16-count warrant. This individual is expected to be arraigned after 2 p.m. today. The District takes allegations of employee misconduct very seriously and will continue to work with law enforcement officials in the ongoing investigation. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the DPS Police Department at 313-748-6000 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP." -- Executive Director of Communications Michelle Zdrodowski

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