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Basketball coach in court for sexual indecency with a child case

Jonesboro KAIT logo Jonesboro KAIT 2020-08-17 Region 8 Newsdesk
a group of people standing on top of a car: Preston Harmon, 26, was taken into custody Saturday morning on suspicion of sexual indecency with a child, according to Jonesboro police. © Provided by Jonesboro KAIT Preston Harmon, 26, was taken into custody Saturday morning on suspicion of sexual indecency with a child, according to Jonesboro police.

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A Valley View basketball coach appeared in court Monday after Jonesboro police say a suicide threat led to an investigation into suspicion of sexual solicitation of a minor.

Preston Harmon, 26, of Jonesboro appeared in court Monday facing charges of internet stalking of a child, sexual indecency with a child, and computer child porn.

A judge set his bond at $100,000, and he’s set to appear in court again on Sept. 28.

According to the probable cause affidavit, police were called to Harmon’s house after getting a call of suicide threats.

Once police arrived on the scene, Harmon told cops, “He was a local school teacher and that he had been sending sexually explicit messages to a former juvenile.”

That same day, officers interviewed the juvenile Harmon mentioned, and she advised police that she was a former student of Harmon’s, and he had been sending her messages of a “sexually-explicit nature,” for several months beginning at the end of 2019.

She told police Harmon had contacted her on several messaging platforms.

The affidavit states that during questioning, Harmon admitted to detectives to sending and receiving messages of a “sexually-explicit,” nature, and admitted to “sexting,” and sending a message containing a “sexually-explicit,” photo to a juvenile.

According to the Valley View School District athletic email website, Harmon was listed as a junior high boys basketball coach at the school and online records showed that he was employed at Bay before that.

Valley View school attorney Donn Mixon released a statement to Region 8 News Saturday afternoon about the situation.

“The Valley View School District received a call from a patron of another school district about alleged text messaging by a former teacher of that school district. The teacher has been employed by Valley View for the upcoming school year. The Jonesboro Police Department has notified the Valley View superintendent, Bryan Russell that the teacher is being arrested for sending sexually-oriented text messages to minors. Valley View has not been made aware of any such messaging being made to Valley View students,” Mixon said. “The matter will be investigated, and the teacher will not be permitted on the Valley View campus for the time being. The Valley View School District is committed to protecting its students and the integrity of its teaching staff. This matter is being taken seriously. We appreciate the public sharing this information with us.”

Region 8 News will have more details as they become available.

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