Basketball coach charged with crimes against minor
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The coach of the boys' basketball team at Avella Junior-Senior High School was arrested yesterday on charges including unlawful contact with a minor.
Joe Johnson, 33, who also was a substitute teacher in the district, was taken into custody about noon at the Avella Elementary Center.
He is no longer employed with the school district in any capacity, said Superintendent Wayde Killmeyer.
Police in Barrett Township, Monroe County, have been investigating Mr. Johnson since August.
Mr. Johnson, of Hickory, "had several on-line conversations which were sexually explicit in nature, one of which involved Johnson sending the purported 14-year-old child explicit photographs of himself," Barrett police said in a news release.
In addition to unlawful contact with a minor, he also is charged with corruption of minors and indecent exposure.
Mr. Johnson had worked in the district for at least five years, said Mr. Killmeyer.
"This was a shock to all of us," he said. "He was very well liked in the district."
In a letter to parents, Mr. Killmeyer said police had assured him that no Avella students were involved in Mr. Johnson's alleged activities. He added that the incidents did not involve school computers and took place outside of school hours.
Mr. Killmeyer also expressed regret to parents that Mr. Johnson's arrest occured on school grounds during the school day.
He said he was unaware of the investigation until police notified him about 10 minutes prior to the arrest. He then escorted Mr. Johnson out of a classroom at the Avella Elementary Center, and the arrest took place out of the view of students.
First Published October 21, 2008 5:05 pm