WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A former track coach at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem was arrested after officers say he sent sexually explicit messages to a student.
Thomas Anthony McEachin Jr., 23, has been charged with solicitation of a child by a computer to commit an unlawful sex act.
In January, Winston-Salem police officers obtained information that a 15-year-old student received a series of inappropriate/sexually explicit messages from a track coach at R.J. Reynolds High School.
Arrest papers show that McEachin reached out to the student through Kik, a phone app that allows users to share messages, pictures and video. Police would not elaborate on the nature of the messages sent to the student.
“This is a very serious incident, a very sensitive incident,” said Capt. Catrina Thompson of the Winston-Salem Police Department.
A warrant was issued for McEachin’s arrest. He turned himself into detectives on April 24 and was placed in the Forsyth County Detention Center under a $20,000 bond.
His court date is set for May 15.
The Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools district learned of the arrest Friday morning, said Theo Helm, a spokesman for the school system.
“The district was informed of an allegation against McEachin on Jan. 18, and Superintendent Beverly Emory dismissed him Jan. 22 in cooperation with the police department,” Helm said in a statement. “Between the date of the allegation and his termination, McEachin did not coach at Reynolds.”
Athletes who were coached by McEachin and their families were informed of the investigation at that time. The school district notified all Reynolds families upon learning of his arrest on Friday.
There were no other victims identified during the course of this investigation.
Police said it took more than three months to complete the investigation because they were trying to determine if there were any other victims.
“We want to make sure we get it right so we take our time through the investigation and sometimes it requires a series of interviews,” said Thompson.
Police encourage parents to stay up to date with all forms of social media their kids use and to report any inappropriate activity to police.