Police Sgt. testifies in case of former HS coach accused of sex crimes

by: Dave Faherty Updated:

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CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. —

Trial continued Tuesday for a former high school coach accused of sex crimes against students.

The attorney for Shawn Johnson spent more than an hour questioning one detective who worked the case.

This is the third week of the trial, but the first time police are talking about why they starting looking into the successful coach.

Read our past coverage:  High school basketball coach fired after accusations of assault against students

Sgt. Melissa Christy spent much of Tuesday on the witness stand describing for the jury how she learned about allegations against the former Hickory High School basketball coach. She said it started in 2012 after a student claimed Johnson made inappropriate comments to her on school grounds.

“Coach Johnson stopped her and asked her to come here. She asked him what he needed and said he had something to give her,” Christy testified.

Within a week Christy set up a taped interview with the student. It was played for the jury on Tuesday. The teenager told her Johnson liked to touch and hug her and made flirtatious comments.

It was not until after another encounter that the student confided in a school counselor who alerted the principal.

“He was like ‘I’m going to take you to my office’ and I said ‘For what?’ And then he said ‘So I can kiss all over you’ and I said ‘To do what?’”

Defense attorney Lisa Dubs questioned the sergeant about why she did not do more of an investigation into the allegations before questioning the student.

At times, Dubs stood next to the investigator pointing out that the victim’s description of the location of the alleged incident changed that very first week.

The judge had deputies put a court order on the door to the courtroom on Tuesday alerting anyone at the trial to refrain from making facial or body gestures, or face the possibility of contempt of court charges.

Reporter Dave Faherty will be keeping up with the latest on the trial. Follow him for updates on Twitter using #JohnsonTrial.

Read more:

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Trial starts for former basketball coach accused of sex crimes