• School may have known about sex crime allegations against coach

    By: Dave Faherty


    HICKORY, N.C. - Employees at Hickory High School may have known about possible sex crimes involving a former coach but never alerted police.
    Those revelations came after a student testified Thursday about being groped inside an equipment room at the school.

    Article: Police Sgt. testifies in case of former HS coach accused of sex crimes
    The former student who is now 28 years old testified for hours about what she said happened her senior year at Hickory High.
    She agreed to talk Channel 9 after she got off the witness stand about an encounter involving the former coach.

    Article: Woman says she ‘couldn’t remember’ in trial of coach accused of sex crimes
    She is the fourth woman to come forward and testify against former Hickory High basketball coach Shawn Johnson.
    It has been 10 years since she was a senior at the high school but she said what happened inside the equipment room at the school is something she won't forget.
    "He had came in. I'm not sure if we really spoke or you know he may have said something to the effect, ‘What are you doing in here?’’ she said. “Next thing I know, he just slipped his hand in the side of my shorts."
    The woman said she told her track coach Heather Mullins about what happened who also took the stand Thursday. 
    "She became upset first and cried,” Mullins said. “Then she became angry with me when I told I had to tell."
    But Mullins said she only overheard a conversation and didn't have all the details. She decided to alert a counselor at the school anyway.
    "For a day, two days, three days I waited thinking this is going to be the day they ask me questions," Mullins said.
    But Mullins said that never happened.
    Prosecutors said police and the Department of Social Services weren't contacted either even after the school's women’s basketball coach testified to alerting the principal in person and then in writing about the alleged incident involving Johnson in 2004.
    The school didn't notify police until 2012 after another student came forward with new allegations.
    By then, a new principal was in place.
    Johnson's first accuser said it was difficult testifying Thursday against the popular coach.
    "It was a big issue for me to testify but as an adult I understand right is right wrong is wrong," the accuser said.
    Prosecutors said it is possible the principal from 2004 will take the stand Friday.

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

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