INDIANAPOLIS -- A former Park Tudor basketball coach who pleaded guilty to coercion and enticement was sentenced to 14 years in prison Friday afternoon.
Kyle Cox, 31, was arrested in January for allegedly having an improper relationship with a 15-year-old female student at Park Tudor.
Court documents say Cox and the teen began talking and texting in August 2015, and that the communications turned sexual in October.
Cox reportedly sent the 15-year-old pictures of his genitals and convinced her to send naked pictures and videos to him.
He suddenly resigned from his position with Park Tudor in December 2015.
"Mr. Cox held a position of trust and authority over our young victim," said U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler. "He gradually groomed her over time to trust him and then exploited her for his own sexual gratification. Protecting our youth from predators is a priority and a responsibility we hold in high regard. Schools should be places of safety for children where they can grow, learn, and make mistakes without falling prey to teachers or coaches who turn their innocence into illegal sexual opportunity. "
IMPD Chief Troy Riggs said Cox's sentencing should serve as a "wake-up call" for parents to monitor their children's social media activity.
Park Tudor released a statement after the verdict outlining the steps the school has taken since Cox was charged, including hiring former judge John Daniel Tinder to serve as an independent compliance monitor, developing new employee and student anti-harassment policies and new digital communication policies.
TIMELINE OF THE INVESTIGATION
Nov. 28, 2015
The girl's father found nude images on her phone. When questioned by her father, the girl said the images were of herself and another minor. The girl's father deleted the messages and pictures, thinking it was just a poor choice between two teens. He started looking at her phone more often.
Dec. 12, 2015
The girl's father saw a thread between the girl and someone named "Edward" from Dec. 3, 2015 to Dec. 12, 2015.
In the thread, "Edward" wrote that he was sad because his grandpa died in New Castle. The girl's father did a Google search on obituaries in New Castle and found a man named Edward Cox who had recently died. When confronted by her father, the girl admitted the conversations were with Kyle Cox.
Dec. 14, 2015
According to the girl's father, he took hard copies of text messages and the girl's computer to Park Tudor and gave them to the head of the school and the school attorney. He also told them what had been going on between Cox and his daughter.
The girl's father received the computer back from the head of the school the next day. When he turned it on, a message appeared on the screen showing that a USB device had been removed improperly. The girl's father did not receive back the hard copies of the text message, including a message that contained a picture of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, according to the criminal complaint.
The girl's father said he believed Park Tudor would handle notifications to police.
After Cox received a phone call from Park Tudor administration requesting a meeting, the teen said he sent her messages telling her she needed to lie about their relationship if she wanted him to stay at Park Tudor.
He allegedly wanted her to falsely claim that she created both sides of all the text messages.
He also messaged the teen on Instagram and said, "you got a new phone" and am I getting fired?"
Dec. 15, 2015
A report was filed by the Associate Head of School for External Affairs at Park Tudor School. The report referred to messages Cox sent the teen as being suggestive and not appropriate for a teacher to send a student. The reporter believed that Cox and the teen did not actually meet up and there was no physical contact between them at school or outside of school. The reporter also claimed to not know if pictures were exchanged. The report did not indicate that the school or anyone else was in possession of the text messages or other communications.
Cox also resigned from the school on Dec. 15. The school allegedly allowed Cox to take a school computer off of school property and remove "personal" files from it. He returned the computer the next day.
That same day, the school signed a confidentiality agreement with Cox which, among other things, prohibited him from talking to any Park Tudor students and from discussing the reason for his resignation.
Dec. 16, 2015
A day after his resignation, Cox allegedly texted a male student and talked about what was likely going to happen. Cox told the student everyone was supporting him and that he could work anywhere in the state. He also wrote, "I would turn my head if you messed her up."
Dec. 22, 2015
A second report was filed by a counselor not employed by the school. The report discussed the sending of videos and images between Cox and the teen that were sexually explicit in nature.
Jan. 4, 2016
A detective met with a caseworker who arranged a meeting with the victim and her parents.
During the conversation, the girl's father told the caseworker that on Dec. 14, 2015, he met with administrators at Park Tudor and told them about the messages. He told the caseworker he made screen shots of the messages from his daughter's phone.
When the father spoke with school officials on Dec. 14, they requested to review the messages and the father allowed them to have his computer overnight to look at the messages. He also provided hard copies of some of the texts, which included a sexually explicit picture, according to the complaint.
As of Jan. 4, 2016, the investigators did not have possession of any of the texts or documents provided to the school.
Jan. 5, 2016
A detective went to Park Tudor to meet with the original school reporter. The person said she was responsible for making the report, but did not have any independent information. She said she was provided the information for the report by an attorney representing the school. She then told detectives they needed to speak with the attorney representing the school.
After leaving the school, the detective talked to the attorney for Park Tudor, who said he could not help because of what he said were privileged communications and would not provide more information.
The detective explained to the school attorney the need to find out who had the text messages and information.
The attorney said that school officials and their representatives only had the computer for a short time and then it was returned to the father. He cited attorney/client privilege with Park Tudor in refusing to provide more information.
Jan. 7. 2016
Search warrants were served at Park Tudor High School and Kyle Cox's home.
During the search of Park Tudor, the school attorney came to the scene. He eventually told detectives that he had received a laptop and documents from the girl's father three weeks earlier. The laptop and documents contained a picture of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to the complaint. The attorney told detectives he took the laptop and documents from the father and took them to his office. He duplicated the contents of the laptop and put them on a thumb drive. No information about these steps or the text messages or documents was timely provided to police or the Department of Child Services, according to the complaint. Prior to the search at the school, police and DCS did not know that the attorney had copies of the pictures and text messages.
Detectives then went to the attorney's office and found documents confirming extensive communication between Cox and the teen.
Jan. 11, 2016
Detectives met with the 15-year-old girl. She told police Cox started texting her in the middle of September 2015. She said when Cox started texting her she felt uneasy. Most of the time she said the conversations were about school, but over time, turned sexual. Cox allegedly sent her photos of his genitals. She also told police the two exchanged videos, some of which were sexually explicit.
She told detectives Cox typically asked her to send him an image and/or video and would later make favorable comments about them. The two also used Snapchat to communicate.
The teen told police Cox developed a plan for him to take him to her his house on December 19, 2015 to engage in sexual activity. She said Cox also tried to get her to meet him at school to engage in sexual activity.
She told detectives she deleted images and videos off her phone routinely because her father would upload pictures to a photo stream.
A review of the forensic exam of the cell phones used by Cox and the teen showed that Cox actively engaged in multiple sexually explicit text conversations with the teen.
Feb. 4, 2016
Kyle Cox is arrested on federal charges.
Cox pleaded guilty to charges of coercion and enticement.