Judge orders release, but former coach will remain in custody

Park Tudor (WISH Photo/ Kevin Hankins)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Former Park Tudor basketball coach Kyle Cox will remain in federal custody – for now – while prosecutors appeal a judge’s decision to release him on home incarceration.

After initially granting that Cox could be released, Judge Debra Lynch issued a stay on her own order, after Assistant U.S. Attorney notified the court that he was appealing the judge’s decision.

That led Cox’s attorney, Jim Voyles, to call Debrota “a sore loser” in open court.

Cox is awaiting trial on federal charges that he tried to entice and coerce a 15-year old girl who attends the school into having a sexual relationship with him.

During a contentious and sometimes combative two-hour detention hearing Monday, prosecutors introduced new evidence that included a series of text messages Cox allegedly sent a student manager, disparaging the alleged victim in the case.

“I would turn my head if you messed her up,” prosecutors said Cox texted that to another Park Tudor student after he had resigned in mid-December.

Prosecutors said those communications led to an assault on the alleged victim in early January.

“It would have been epic if you would have caused a concussion,” prosecutors said Cox wrote after the incident. “It would have only made her more psycho.”

It was against that backdrop that prosecutors argued that Cox was “dangerous” and “interfered” with the police investigation into the matter by continuing to text with Park Tudor students and the alleged victim after Cox resigned from his position in mid-December.

Prosecutors said Cox used an Instagram account to communicate with the alleged victim, asking her to defend him and keep him out of jail.

But Cox’s defense attorney, Jim Voyles, argued that prosecutors were putting too much weight on a confidentiality agreement that Cox signed with the school to not have contact with students, and not the criminal investigation that began in early January.

Details of the confidentiality agreement were not made in clear in court other than the detail that if Cox agreed to remove himself from the school and not communicate with students, the private school would issue a statement saying that Cox resigned – thus enabling him to look for other employment, prosecutors said.

That narrative by prosecutors only adds to the criticism mounting against the private Indianapolis school that it not only failed to tell police about Cox’s behavior, but that it may have engaged in obstructing the investigation. A school spokeswoman said last week that it would have no further comment and that it will continue to cooperate with authorities.

An IMPD detective testified Monday that it has obtained a new warrant to examine another one of Kyle Cox’s phones.

Earlier in during Monday’s hearing, Tony Cox, Kyle Cox’s father, testified that he wants his son to live with him in Springport, Indiana in Henry County. Prosecutors hammered hard on Tony Cox’s testimony, though asking if Kyle Cox told him why he resigned from the school.

“No. He did not want to be shameful to us. I wouldn’t have believed them anyway,” Tony Cox said. “I wouldn’t have asked that. I wouldn’t have believed that anyway.”

In the end, Judge Lynch ordered her decision stayed and asked that prosecutors have their appeal filed by end of business on Tuesday. If her order goes through, Cox will live with his parents will awaiting trial, but cannot have a device connected to the internet and must wear a GPS monitoring device.

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