Hallettsville high assistant principal Scott Cottenoir talks with his attorney

Hallettsville High School assistant principal Scott Cottenoir talks with his attorney after an arraignment. Cottenoir declined to answer a reporter's questions.

Lavaca County court documents reveal some details of a sexual assault allegation that prosecutors say is at the center of failure to report abuse charges for three Hallettsville school officials.

Head baseball coach Calvin “Shorty” Cook, Assistant Principal and Head Basketball Coach Scott Cottenoir and Hallettsville High School Principal Darrin Bickham face state jail felony charges of failure to report abuse.

Normally charged as a Class A misdemeanor, the charges against Cook, Cottenoir and Bickham were upgraded to a state jail felony because prosecutors say the men intentionally concealed the abuse allegations.

According to re-indictments, the men failed to report an allegation that two people abused a child at the Best Western Hondo Inn, 301 U.S. 90, on or about March 2. The court documents do not specify the names or ages of the two people who are accused of the abuse. June 19, Hondo police investigators said they had completed their investigation into the sexual abuse allegations and forwarded their findings to the Medina County District Attorney’s Office, which did not respond to questions Wednesday. A Hondo police investigator said his department was tasked with investigating allegations of sexual assault by members of the Hallettsville High School baseball team. Lavaca County Attorney Stuart Fryer, who is prosecuting the case against the Hallettsville school officials, said he was unaware of any indictments from Medina County for sexual assault.

Jon Wilcox reports on courts for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached jwilcox@vicad.com or 361-580-6515.

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Jon covers crime, public safety and the courts at the Victoria Advocate. Born in Huntsville, Ala., he grew up in Atlanta, Ga. and obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism at Texas State University.

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