FARMINGTON, Mich. – A former basketball coach at Farmington High School who is accused of sexually assaulting two students is due in court Monday for a preliminary examination hearing.
Former junior varsity basketball coach Jeremy Thompkins, 43, has been charged with criminal sexual conduct after allegedly assaulting two high school boys at his Detroit home. Authorities accuse Thompkins of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy at his home between August and October.
Thompkins pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
District officials said last month that the boys and “their families are doing OK and are receiving support from our social emotional wellness teams.” The boys’ identities will not be revealed.
Thompkins was arrested on Oct. 24 and charged with one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Both second- and fourth-degree CSC relate to unwanted sexual touching and not penetration, though second-degree includes more forceful components.
Thompkins was fired from his role as a coach for the boys’ basketball team at Farmington High School on Oct. 9 after administrators “immediately began an investigation” after receiving a report from a concerned parent. Three other varsity and JV basketball coaches were also fired that week after school officials learned the coaches were “aware that several basketball players had been to [Thompkin’s] house” and didn’t report it to administrators.
All of the coaches were reportedly hired through a third-party, and “had no criminal background violations,” the district said.
“We want to able to trust the people that we allow to coach, teach, and spend time with our children. Sometimes they are predators that betray and abuse that trust in unimaginable ways,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said of Thompkins. “The evidence in this case will show that this defendant’s alleged conduct violated his position of authority and harmed those he was supposed to guide and protect.”
Thompkins was scheduled to appear in court on Monday, Nov. 13 for a preliminary examination hearing, in which additional details were expected to be revealed.
What is a preliminary examination hearing?
A preliminary examination comes after a person is charged with a crime or crimes and pleads not guilty to said crimes, and before a trial can occur.
At the preliminary examination hearing, the judge observes evidence provided by the prosecutor who charged the defendant. The hearing serves as a sort of mini trial, in which witnesses can testify, and the defense can cross-examine them.
The judge will then determine if the defendant should go to trial based on the evidence they observed. If there is sufficient evidence and the judge finds there is reason to believe the defendant committed the crime, a trial date will be scheduled. If not, the charges against the defendant could be dismissed.
Look out for our on-air reports for coverage related to the hearing on Monday afternoon. Watch live on Local 4, or stream live here on ClickOnDetroit.com or our Local 4+ streaming app.
Below is a statement issued by Farmington Public Schools Superintendent Chris Delgado in October.
“Good Evening FPS Families and Staff,
You may have seen recent media coverage regarding our Farmington High School Boys’ Basketball program. I am writing to you this evening to clarify some information. The incident primarily involved the junior varsity coach and two students. This incident is disturbing and a violation of the trust families place in adult leaders for their children.
Most importantly, the students and their families are doing ok and are receiving support from our Social Emotional Wellness teams.
Here are the facts:
All coaches were hired through our 3rd party contracted service provider, EduStaff, and had no criminal background violations.
All coaches received training and reminders about procedures and policies, including mandatory reporter requirements.
On Monday, October 9th we received a report from a parent concerned about the JV basketball coach. The administrative team immediately began an investigation and by the end of the day, that coach was fired. The case was turned over to Detroit Police (where the former coach lives) under suspicion of sexual behavior directed from the coach toward a couple of players.
During the week of October 9th, The FHS administration conducted an internal investigation, which included individual interviews with every member of the JV team, and the mobilization of Social Emotional Support for all players. Additionally, they sent messages to both the basketball program families and the FHS school community.
As a result of the investigation, they learned that the other coaches in the program were aware that several basketball players had been to the coach’s house. FPS has no knowledge of or reporting from student interviews of parties. However, this clear violation of the coach-student athlete relationship was not reported to administration. On Monday, October 16th, the other three coaches were fired.
Our Farmington School Resource Officer and building administration are actively cooperating with Detroit Police on their investigation and keeping our students and their families at the forefront of our safety, security, and support efforts here in FPS. Although the former coach was screened and had no criminal history, we have begun conversation about possible additional steps that can be taken to onboard and monitor newly hired contracted individuals.
The actions of this individual do not get to define what FPS stands for, the opportunities we provide for students, or the character of our more than 1200 dedicated coaches, teachers and other staff members. There are thousands of positive interactions between students and staff that occur daily in our District in a physically and intellectually safe environment. It is our hope that the Wayne County prosecutor will charge this individual and hold him accountable, as our students and their families deserve justice.”Farmington Public Schools Superintendent Chris Delgado