|Former Park Tudor basketball coach Kyle Cox (Star Photo)|
UPDATED: The Indianapolis Star is reporting that the Indianapolis FBI office has confirmed the arrest of former Park Tudor high school boys basketball coach Kyle Cox, who abruptly resigned during the middle of the season on December 15, 2015. A task force investigating crimes against children executed search warrants on Cox's home in Fishers and the Park Tudor campus on Indianapolis' north side on January 7 as part of an investigation of child pornography and child exploitation. The school's headmaster, Dr. Matthew Miller took his life late last month, although school sources insisted his death had nothing to do with the ongoing investigation.
Cox is being charged with coercion and enticement, as well as obstruction of justice. Advance Indiana has just had an opportunity to review the probable cause affidavit filed in the case. It is quite damning of Cox's conduct towards a 15-year female student at Park Tudor with whom he initiated a highly inappropriate online relationship that started in September 2015. Cox initially asked inappropriate questions of the female student before encouraging her to share nude images of herself with him. Cox is accused of sending nude images of his penis to the girl, whom he gave a role working with the boys basketball team and spent a great deal of time in his office at the school.
The relationship with the student escalated to a point where Cox was planning to engage in sex with the girl at his home in December before the student's father discovered the sexual messages and images on her cell phone and learned the person with whom she was communicating was Cox. The affidavit raises serious questions about the manner in which the school handled the investigation of Cox after the father reported the relationship to them. Although Cox was immediately fired and law enforcement notified, the school did not turn over electronic records it had in its possession, which would have triggered a much more active investigation of the allegations sooner than occurred.
Cox was actually permitted to leave the campus with a computer after his firing, which he did not return until 24 hours later after attempting to remove relevant evidence from his computer. The victim's father turned cell phone images and texts, as well as his daughter's computer to the school to examine, but it appears school officials had removed information from it after the computer was returned to him according to the probable cause affidavit, and the school did not turn over that information it received from the victim's father to law enforcement at the time. Additionally, an attorney for the school removed a computer from the school and saved information from it on a flash drive but also was initially uncooperative in turning over evidence to law enforcement until police executed a warrant on the school in early January. The attorney at first claimed attorney-client privilege in declining to discuss or immediately share with law enforcement the information he had obtained from the computer. Advance Indiana has learned the school's attorney is Michael Blickman, a labor and employment partner at Ice Miller.
The victim's father first learned that Cox was the person his daughter was exchanging inappropriate messages and images on December 12, 2015. Cox had mentioned in a thread titled "Edward" about his grandfather in New Castle dying. The father looked up obituaries in New Castle online and discovered an obituary for Cox's grandfather, Edward Cox. He also discovered at that time that Cox's middle name was "Edward." That's when he learned Cox was planning to have sex with his daughter at his home on December 19. The victim's father took screen shots of the text messages and images. The girl's father took her computer and hard copies of some of the text messages and turned them over to Park Tudor's head master, Dr. Miller, and the school's attorney. The father told both everything he knew about what had taken place between his daughter and Cox. When the victim's father got his daughter's computer back from the school, he discovered that the USB drive had been improperly removed. The father told police he believed the school would handle all of the evidence appropriately once he turned it over to them. An IMPD detective went to the school's attorney's law office on January 7 to recover the evidence he had in his possession. Here's how the complaint describes how the school and their attorney handled the evidence it obtained from the victim's father of obvious criminal wrongdoing:
During the search of Park Tudor on January 7, 2016, the school attorney came to the scene. The attorney eventually disclosed that he received a laptop and documents which father had provided to Park Tudor, approximately 3 weeks earlier, on December 14, 2015. The laptop and documents contained a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The attorney took the laptop and documents from father and transported them to his law firm office. The contents of the laptop and documents were duplicated and placed on a thumb drive. No information about these steps or the related text messages or documents was timely provided to any law enforcement agency or the Department of Child Services ("DCS"). These agencies, law enforcement and DCS, did not know before the search the school that the attorney retained copies of the visual depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and the related communications provided by father.According to the probable cause affidavit detailing obstruction of justice charges against him, Cox communicated with a male student at the school following his firing in violation of his confidential separation agreement with the school. Cox blamed his downfall on the 15-year old student and seemed to encourage the male student to do harm to her. Cox boasted that he would have no problem getting a job anywhere else in the state of Indiana based on his reputation. "I've positioned myself to be marketable," Cox told the male student. "I would turn my head if you messed her up," Cox quipped to the male student in one exchange. "Just keep your nose clean," Cox added. Cox told the male student to ask the 15-year old girl to "ask her if it's making her feel better to slander me." "I'm sure you will find the right chance to say something to her," Cox concluded.