A former Richland High School Assistant basketball coach plead guilty on Monday to one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the First Degree. Trevor Franklin of Stoutland was sentenced in Phelps county due to a change of venue by the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney.
A former Richland High School Assistant basketball coach plead guilty on Monday to one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the First Degree.
Trevor Franklin of Stoutland was sentenced in Phelps county due to a change of venue by the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney.
Franklin's guilty plea was the result of a plea agreement negotiated between the Prosecutor’s Office and the defendant. Franklin was originally charged with Sexual Misconduct with a Student, a class D felony.
Under the plea agreement, Franklin pled guilty to Child Endangering in the First Degree, which is a class C felony.
He will immediately serve 10 days of shock time in the county jail, be on five years of supervised probation without the possibility of early release, serve ninety days of shock jail time at the discretion of his probation officer, complete outpatient sex offender counseling, permanently surrender his teaching license, complete 80 hours of community service, pay $300 to the Pulaski County Law Enforcement Restitution Fund and pay restitution for counseling of the victim and her family.
In addition, during the term of his probation, the defendant is prohibited from contacting the victim and his prohibited from being on the grounds of any school or being around any children unsupervised, except for functions involving his own children.
Franklin was arrested in March of 2013 following an investigation by the Missouri Highway Patrol after allegations were raised that he was involved with a student while employed by the Richland School District where he was an assistant basketball coach. The investigation was turned over to the Missouri Highway Patrol after being reported to local authorities.
Franklin was released from his position with the Richland High School in Nov. 2012.
According to court documents, the victim said she came in contact with Franklin during basketball season. She obtained Franklin's cell phone number to ask him questions. There was a reported exchange of text messages beginning on Nov. 15 through Nov. 30, 2012. More than 4,300 messages were shared during the 15-day period.
Among the allegations in the court documents were on two occasions, Franklin and the victim allegedly exchanged kisses. One incident allegedly took place at a fast food restaurant and the other on the Richland High School grounds when school was not in session. Franklin also allegedly held the victim's hand on a school bus while traveling home from a basketball game.
Court documents describe a situation where Franklin and the victim planned a time to be alone. Franklin asked the victim to meet him at his truck while at a basketball tournament in Laquey. The school's surveillance video system confirms that the two left the building together.
As a result of this plea to a higher charge, Franklin faces seven years in the Department of Corrections should he violate the terms of his probation, instead of four years under the original charge.
“This plea agreement brings a difficult case to a close and with an outcome that I am satisfied will prevent the defendant from trying to victimize any other students and send a message to others that conduct which jeopardizes students will not be tolerated,” said Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hillman. “The plea agreement in this case was done with the consent of the victim and her family and I want to commend both her and her family for their assistance during this case and for having the courage to report this incident so that this conduct could be stopped immediately. I also want to commend the Richland School District Officials, the Richland Police Department, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol for the quick reporting and thorough investigation of this matter, resulting in this plea of guilty today.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Laura Kriebs and Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hillman.