Warrant: Ex-Brook Hill coach sent improper texts, spent time with 16-year-old student

Ricky Eugene Clements, 61, former Brook Hill School volleyball coach.

Adam Russell, arussell@tylerpaper.com

The arrest affidavit related to a former Brook Hill School coach mentions inappropriate texts and extended time alone with a 16-year-old student.

Ricky Eugene Clements, 61, former Brook Hill varsity volleyball coach, was arrested Thursday and charged with enticement of a child.

The official arrest warrant affidavit filed in the Smith County Court of Law notes a parent at Brook Hill went to the Bullard Police Department on Oct. 19 to report an incident involving her 16-year-old daughter and Clements.

The report notes several accounts of the student receiving inappropriate text messages from Clements but lacked details regarding their content.

“The text messages that I observed between (the student) and Clements were personal in nature and not professional texts between a coach and an athlete,” the investigator noted.

In an Oct. 3 exchange, Clements asked the student if she was at a campus facility, to which she replied, “No.” Clements responded with frowning faces and text, “I wanted you to come outside and talk.” The student asked, “about what,” according to the affidavit.

Clements responded, “Life, death, happiness, sadness, education, uneducation ... or me, dresses, etc. I kinda miss you.”

The affidavit also notes the student testified during an interview at The Child Advocacy Center in Tyler that Clements came to her dorm on a Sunday at 10 a.m., and the two left to eat and drive around until 3 p.m.

Brook Hill Boarding House Director Shawn Rhodes told investigators it was not unusual for coaches and staff members to pick up students for school-related events but that it is discouraged and unacceptable for students to be alone with staff of the opposite sex for that length of time.

In a Sept. 18 text, Clements sent a text stating, “We still have a date tomorrow night - right?”

Bullard Police Department Cpt. Jeff Bragg could not comment on possible future charges against Clements as the investigation continues.

The Texas Penal Code explains child enticement as “a person commits an offense if, with the intent to interfere with the lawful custody of a child younger than 18 years, knowingly entices, persuades, or takes the child from the custody of the parent or guardian or person standing in the stead of the parent or guardian of such child.”

Child enticement is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail, unless it is proved the actor intended to commit a felony against the child, in which an offense would be a third degree felony.

There has been an outpouring of support for Clements on social media, including on comment threads within news stories about his arrest.

Brook Hill Headmaster Rod Fletcher released a statement following Clements’ arrest.

“We are saddened to learn that our former employee Ricky Clements was recently charged under Texas Penal Code 25.04,” the statement read. “As you may know, Coach Clements resigned a couple of weeks ago from his position as Varsity Volleyball Coach at The Brook Hill School due to health concerns.

“While we are unaware of the specific nature of this matter, we have made ourselves available to cooperate with authorities should they ask for our assistance. Please be assured that we are taking this matter seriously and as always, the safety of our Brook Hill community is our primary concern. We express our love for the Clements family during this difficult time.”

Clements was released from the Smith County Jail on Thursday after posting a $4,000 bond.

When contacted by the Tyler Morning Telegraph on Monday, the Clementses gave no comment.

 

 

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