Former band director faces molestation charges

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 9, 2005

Former Greenville High band director Charles L. Coon, 58, was arrested and charged Friday afternoon on three counts of sodomy and three counts of child molestation in connection with an alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student at Pike County High School in Brundidge.

Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said that he received information on July 6, about an "improper relationship" between a teacher and a student, which was reported by the parents of the teenage boy.

At 12:50 p.m. Friday, members of the Greenville police, Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the Pike County Sheriff's Department executed a search warrant of Coon's home at 308 County Club Drive in Greenville.

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"I can't say what was discovered when we got to the house," Thomas said.

However, during the search of his residence, Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram said computer equipment was seized by the ABI for analysis for evidence purposes.

So far, it remains unclear if this is an isolated incident or not.

"We will continue this investigation regarding these allegations and investigate to see if there was the possibility of other victims," Thomas said.

Thomas did not say if he believed there were other victims, but Ingram said individuals with information regarding similar activities by Coon should contact the police department.

During an initial hearing Friday afternoon at the Butler County Courthouse, Circuit Court Judge Mac Donald Russell, upon the recommendation of Second Judicial Circuit District Attorney John Andrews, announced Coon's bond on the six felony counts to be $225,000. Should Coon post bond, he would be released from the Butler County Jail and then be under house arrest, Russell said.

Before he retired in Greenville, Coon was also band director at Pike County High School. He has also served as an umpire for youth baseball, softball and basketball games for more than 15 years for the Greenville Parks and Recreation Department.

Coon will face an additional charge next week in Pike County.

"He will face one count of sexual abuse second-degree," said 12th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Gary McAliley. "We will let Butler County finish with him first before we bring him here to charge him on this count."

McAliley said the charge also is in connection with the alleged sexual

relationship that Coon had with the Pike County High student.

Before being led to the Butler County courthouse, Coon refused to comment on the allegations, but did tell an Advocate photographer to "smile" when having his picture taken.