Former band director may face more charges

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2005

Second judicial district attorney John Andrews said he wouldn't rule out the possibility that Charles L. Coon Jr., who was arrested and charged with three counts of sodomy and three counts of child molestation, enticing, inviting to propose sexual acts on Friday in connection with an alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy, may face more charges this week.

Law enforcement officials from Greenville Police Department, Pike County Sheriff's Office and Alabama Bureau of Investigation searched Coon's 308 Country Club Drive home Friday afternoon seizing his personal computer for analysis and evidence purposes.

Coon appeared before Circuit Court Judge Mac Donald Russell Friday afternoon when his bond was set at $225,000.

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Coon, who was a former band director at Greenville High School, was bonded out that night by Gerald Wayne Benson. Benson also worked in the Butler County school system and served as principal of Greenville Junior High before retiring.

When asked why Benson bonded Coon out, Benson told an Advocate reporter, "I have no comment on that."

Now that Coon, 58, is bonded out, he is on house arrest.

Coon's charges stem from a complaint made by the parents of the 15-year-old, who is a high school student at Pike County High in Brundidge, to Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas. Coon was the former band director at Pike County High for the last three years, according to Pike County Superintendent Mark Bazzell. In past years, he also had been a music teacher for Banks Middle School and Pike County Elementary School.

&uot;The alleged crimes took place in Greenville. Apparently, he would take the student to his home – when his wife wasn’t home,&uot; Thomas said.

Thomas said the alleged acts also took place at Six Flags in Atlanta.

&uot;From what we could tell, this relationship took place over a period of 18 to 24 months,&uot; Thomas said.

Coon also served as an umpire in youth baseball, softball and basketball games for more than 15 years for the Greenville Parks and Recreation Department.

Gary McAiley, district attorney for the 12th judicial circuit, said that Coon will face an additional charge pertaining to this case at a later date.

— Troy Messenger editor Ken Rogers contributed to this report.