Trinity grand jury indicts former high school trainer for sexual performance charges

Trinity grand jury indicts former high school trainer for sexual performance charges

TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Trinity County grand indicted a former high school trainer accused of having a pornographic image of a 17-year-old girl on his phone.

Jace Michael Coones, 32, was indicted on two counts of sexual performance of a child and one count of child pornography on Nov. 24. Both charges are second-degree felonies.

According to a previous East Texas News story, Coones' arrest came after the Trinity Police Department started investigating allegations of an improper relationship with a student.

The district released this statement to KTRE news shortly after the warrant for Coones was obtained. He was arrested in April.

"Mr. Coones was placed on Administrative leave with pay Tuesday April 8th pending an investigation," an official statement from Trinity ISD said. "Chief Steve Jones with the Trinity Police Department was notified immediately. TISD turned over all documents concerning the investigation to Chief Jones and the district worked jointly with Chief Jones and Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace during the investigation."

The statement also said that TISD officials notified the Texas Education Agency on April 8 that the district was launching an investigation into Coones.

Trinity Police Chief Steven Jones and Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace said the investigation began earlier this week when school officials alerted them about a suspicious post on Twitter.

"There was a tweet, a couple days ago, possibly over the weekend that indicated there was a trainer at the school that was possibly having inappropriate relationships with students," Wallace said. "It was a very explicit tweet, and the school, I guess, was monitoring it and they came across and monitored it and they contacted us or they contacted the police department and the district attorney's office and showed them that."

Jones said police, with the help of the sheriff's office, Texas Rangers and the district attorney's office, began investigating the allegation that Coones was having an improper relationship with a student.

During the investigation, Jones said police received information which lead to a confession from Coones and a victim that Coones had a nude image of a 17-year-old girl, who lives out of the area, on his cellphone.

"It ended up us looking at his phone and finding child pornography on his phone from a student from another county and we're still investigating the allegations if there's anything that happened in Trinity County with any students," Wallace said.

Jones said that evidence was enough to obtain a warrant for possession of child pornography.

"Thanks to the school alerting us quickly and their cooperation, plus the good teamwork from the sheriff and our Texas Ranger and the DA's office, we were able to conduct a smooth investigation," Jones said.

Jones said Coones came to the police station around to check on the status of his phone and Sheriff Wallace placed him under arrest.

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