Coach arraigned on inappropriate sexual contact charges

James David Dickson, and Candice Williams
Antoine Lewis Jones

A middle school basketball coach in Detroit was arraigned Wednesday on allegations of inappropriate sexual contact with four boys on his team.

Antoine Lewis Jones, 28, appeared by video arraignment in 36th District Court before Magistrate Charles Anderson. A not guilty-plea was entered on his behalf.

Anderson set bond at $1 million cash and ordered Jones not to have contact with any of the complaining witnesses.

“I’m persuaded to protect the community,” he said.

Jones coached basketball at A.L. Holmes Elementary-Middle School, on the city’s east side. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office alleges that between November 2014 and March 2016, Jones “requested inappropriate photos, texts and social media messages from four males,” 13-15 years of age, who played for the team.

Prosecutors also allege that Jones had “inappropriate sexual contact” with four players.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s office initially said there were six complainants in the case, but as of Wednesday four alleged victims were tied to the current charges, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Tink said during the arraignment. She said she expects more charges against Jones from additional complainants.

Jones is charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct; seven counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct; three counts of sexually abusive activity involving a child; three counts of using a computer to commit a crime; three counts of distributing sexually explicit matter to children; one count of accosting for immoral purposes; and one count of aggravated indecent exposure.

Detroit Public Schools officials said they take employee misconduct seriously and will continue to work with law enforcement in the ongoing investigation.

“Upon learning of the allegations against a member of their staff, the A.L. Holmes Principal followed District protocol and immediately removed the individual in question from the building and instructed the person to not have any interaction with students,” Michelle Zdrodowski, DPS executive director of communications, said in a statement.

“After an investigation by the District’s Employee Relations Department, and in conjunction with evidence provided by the Detroit Public Schools Police Department from their ongoing investigation, as of today Mr. Jones’ employment status changed from paid administrative leave to unpaid administrative leave,” the statement said.

Jones returns to court for a probable cause hearing April 6. A preliminary examination has been set for April 13.