Victim's mom removed from hearing

A basketball coach at a charter high school in the South Shore neighborhood is charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old student. (Source: WGN - Chicago)

The mother of an underage girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted by the basketball coach at her South Side high school began wailing at his bond hearing and had to be dragged out of the courthouse by supporters.

“That’s my (expletive) child!” the woman screamed over and over as prosecutors detailed allegations against the coach, Kevin Jones.

After deputies escorted the woman out of the courtroom, she fell to the floor wailing and later had to be physically pulled from the courthouse. Court personnel later identified her as the mother of one of two underage victims, both 17.

Jones, 33, a varsity boys basketball coach at Epic Academy Charter High School in the 8200 block of South Houston Avenue, was charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault and one count of attempted criminal sexual assault.

Prosecutors said Jones was driving the 17-year-old girl and her friend home from an away basketball game on Jan. 17 when he parked the car in an alley in the 8500 block of South Green Bay Avenue.

Jones got into the back seat of the car with the victims and unzipped his pants, Assistant State’s Atty. Joell Zahr said. He tried to force the girl into a sex act, but she resisted and was able to get out of the car.

As she stood outside the car trying to call for a ride home, the girl saw Jones engaged in a sex act with the other girl, Zahr said.

After Jones drove the one girl home, she told her mother about the incident a few days later, the prosecutor said. The girl who had escaped the car also reported the incident to a teacher at school and a friend, according to Zahr.

Jones’ attorney, Jeff Granich, said that in addition to coaching basketball at Epic, Jones was employed as a gym teacher at LEARN charter school in the 1700 block of West 83rd Street.  He is married with two young children, serves as a deacon at his church  and has no prior convictions, Granich said.

“At this point, we are shocked about these allegations, and we look forward to going to trial and clearing his name,” Granich said after court.

Judge Edward Harmening set bond at $500,000 and ordered Jones to have no contact with any children except his own if he is released from custody. 

Jones’ employment at Epic ended on Jan. 17, said Cindy Hansen, an attorney representing the school. She could not say whether he was fired or left on his own.

"The school has taken every action necessary to make sure people are safe," Hansen said. The school has "cooperated with police and the state's attorney's office," she said.

Officials at the LEARN charter school, where Jones was a PE teacher, released the following statement:

"Although the alleged  incident did not occur at our school or with any of our students, Kevin Jones has been terminated from LEARN, effective immediately. Student safety is our highest priority at all of our campuses, and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure their security." 

Tribune reporter Jeremy Gorner contributed.

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