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East athletic trainer accused of sexual assault of a child

By By Caty Hirst AND CAROLINA ASTRAIN - CHIRST@VICAD.COM AND CASTRAIN@VICAD.COM
Oct. 12, 2012 at 5:12 a.m.
Updated Oct. 13, 2012 at 5:13 a.m.

Jesse Earl Holmes

An athletic trainer at Victoria East High School was in jail Friday after authorities accused him of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, a 15-year-old student at East.

Jesse Earl Holmes, 31, of Victoria, was arrested Thursday night after the mother of the student reported Holmes possibly had sex with her daughter, according to the complaint filed by Justice of the Peace Robert Whitaker, Precinct 3.

A report from Victoria police officers, attached to the complaint, obtained from Whitaker's office, states that the student's mother told officers about her suspicions on Tuesday.

After reviewing phone records and interviewing both the student and Holmes, according to the report, a warrant was issued for Holmes' arrest.

"We have been working very closely with the school district, and they have been cooperating fully with our investigation," said Victoria Police Chief J.J. Craig.

Superintendent Robert Jaklich said the district "separated employment" with Holmes on Thursday. He would not say whether Holmes was fired or whether he resigned.

"We would never ever knowingly put our students in harm's way, and would never tolerate anyone doing so," Jaklich said.

Holmes had been a trainer at Victoria East High School since 2010.

In the report, the mother said she began to suspect something was wrong when her daughter "began having terrible outburst of anger, which was not characteristic" in September.

Holmes, according to the report, admitted to the officers that he had sex with the student on two occasions.

"He (Holmes) stated that he first had sex with her at her residence, then they had sex again in the parking lot of Patti Welder Middle School," according to the report.

Holmes had sex with the student on Sept. 27 and then again on Oct. 4, according to the complaint.

According to the officers' report, the student received 128 messages from Holmes in July and 287 texts in October.

Holmes worked with students from various grade levels and athletic teams, Jaklich said.

"Our trainers work with a multitude of sports depending on the schedule and the time of the year," Jaklich said. "They're exposed to a multitude of students and grade levels."

Craig said that the investigation so far leads him to think the abuse was an isolated incident.

"There is no indication right now to indicate any other employees are involved in this offense," Craig said.

Holmes graduated from the University of Mary-Hardin-Baylor in May 2006 with a major in athletic training.

He worked at The Brook Hill School, a private Christian boarding school in Bullard with pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students as the head athletic trainer from 2008 until 2010.

Holmes is being held at the Victoria County Jail in lieu of a $65,000 bond.

Craig said the investigation into Holmes is ongoing.

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