Wadesboro coach charged for human trafficking, indecent liberties with children

ANSON COUNTY, N.C. — A local youth basketball coach is facing criminal charges in connection with a human trafficking investigation in Anson County, and authorities say there may be additional victims.

According to the Anson County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, 30-year-old Jamoszio Burch was arrested last Thursday for one count of human trafficking of a child and two counts of indecent liberties with children.

The sheriff’s office didn’t release details about what led to Burch’s arrest, but investigators said more charges are anticipated.

Jamoszio Burch

Burch was booked into the Anson County Jail on a $250,000 bond. He was still in custody as of Tuesday morning.

Tuesday afternoon, the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office posted on social media saying its investigators had “information about potential crimes” involving Burch that happened in Stanly County.

Investigators in Stanly County told Channel 9 that they’re looking for more victims after a few juveniles came forward. The investigators said they believe there is “a lot more.”

Channel 9 learned that Burch had recently been the coach of several local basketball teams, including the AAU-affiliated NC Jayhawks and at Union Academy in Monroe. He spoke with Channel 9 back in 2021 when he was working with the Jayhawks, and photos shared on social media show him coaching with Union Academy.

Union Academy sent a statement to Channel 9, saying the school was aware of the recent arrest. Burch was identified as a “former assistant varsity basketball coach.”

“Burch’s contract expired at the end of the recent basketball season and was not renewed,” Union Academy said in a statement. “He is no longer affiliated with UA. Any questions regarding the investigation should be directed to the Anson County Sheriff’s Office.”

VIDEO BELOW: Counselor shares tips on talking with kids about abuse after coach’s arrest

Felt targeted

Channel 9′s Evan Donovan spoke with two mothers whose sons played for Burch. One played on the AAU Jayhawks team, the other at Union Academy.

They told Donovan they felt his behavior was inappropriate, saying that the coach would invite players to his house.

“My son said they are going to the bathroom to get iced down with coach so they can start tomorrow,” one mother told Donovan. “And coach [would] be in there a long time with them, at coach’s house.”

The parents told Donovan they felt like Burch targeted single mothers.

“He kinda preyed on single moms so he can kinda be that father role to the kids, to the sons, because that is lacking in their life,” the mother of a Union Academy student said.

The mother of the other player said that Burch would “spoil them too much.”

“I could never get in touch with [Burch], but if my son called him, he answered the phone instantly,” she told Donovan. “What coach doesn’t communicate with the parent but communicates with the child?”

The mother of the Union Academy student said her son told her another player had stayed overnight at Burch’s house “several times.” She said that was a shock to her.

While the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office is asking for victims to come forward and the Anson County Sheriff’s Office anticipates more charges, the parents are asking for victims to tell their stories.

“There’s other kids out there, there’s other babies that have been hurt. Let them know that he’s been caught - he’s in jail. He can’t hurt you no more,” one mother said.

If Burch does post bail bond, he won’t be able to possess firearms or communicate with the alleged victims.

Spotting red flags

Andrew Oliver is the CEO of Pat’s Place, Mecklenburg County’s advocacy center for abused children, and he says there are things parents can do to make it easier to talk to children about sexual topics.

Oliver says it’s important to start early to eliminate confusion and the stigma of shame.

“From a very young age, when kids are in the bathtub and you’re naming their body parts, you can teach them the name for their private parts,” Oliver said.

Oliver says conversations can also help kids identify abuse.

“We have to make talking about child abuse as comfortable as it is to talk about every other safety rule,” Oliver told Donovan. “You wouldn’t raise kids without talking to them about wearing their seat belt or looking both ways [crossing the street.]”

With teenagers, Oliver says it can often be more difficult for the parents when talking about sexual topics. He said asking the right questions can start a conversation.

“You can roleplay with teenagers or ask them questions about what would you do in this scenario if you were uncomfortable in this, and that’s a great way sometimes to open them up and start that dialogue,” he said.

Another tip is to teach parents and kids the difference between secrets and surprises.

“Say that, ‘Hey I want you to know it’s against the rules for anyone to ask you to keep a secret from me,’” Oliver said. “A surprise is something that makes people feel good, sometimes secrets to the opposite.”

If you suspect a child is being abused, you can call the national child abuse hotline at 1-800-422-4453. Counselors are available to help anytime.

(WATCH: Mother charged after infant’s death, Rock Hill police say)

Evan Donovan

Evan Donovan, wsoctv.com

Evan is an anchor and reporter for Channel 9.

Andrew McMillan, wsoctv.com

Andrew McMillan is the Digital Content Manager for WSOC-TV.

Comments on this article