Zavalla coach accused of soliciting minor resigns

Richard Cratty (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Richard Cratty (Source: Angelina County Jail)

ZAVALLA, TX (KTRE) - A Zavalla ISD coach accused of sending inappropriate messages to a former underage student has resigned according to the district's superintendent.

"Zavalla ISD can confirm that Richard Cratty has resigned from employment with the District effective immediately," Superintendent Ricky Oliver said in an email. "The circumstances of the separation will be reported to the proper agencies in accordance with state law. Zavalla ISD will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and state education agency investigations."

Oliver also said that the special called school board meeting scheduled for Monday night has been canceled.

The Zavalla baseball coach used intimidation tactics to get an underage girl to send him pictures and to meet up with him, according to an arrest affidavit.

Cratty, Jr., 31, of Nacogdoches, is charged with third-degree online solicitation of a minor. He was arrested on the charge on Friday.

According to an arrest affidavit, a deputy with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office reported meeting with the mother of a 16-year-old girl, who had recently withdrawn as a student from Zavalla High School. The mother said Cratty worked with her daughter with her studies, while she was enrolled there and provided her with a personal email address, with the handle of "Jack Sparrow."

The girl said Cratty sent her an email from a different address on Oct. 15 and arranged to meet him behind Huntington State Bank in Zavalla where he kissed her without her consent.

The girl said Cratty also sent her images of his genitalia and would in return ask her to send images of her in lingerie. The girl said she would do what he said, because she was intimidated by him because he was a coach and he was persistent and aggressive towards her if she did not comply in a timely fashion.

The investigator was able to subpoena surveillance from the bank, which shows Cratty drive a pickup behind the building and into the middle drive-through. He then waited for the girl to arrive and approached the driver-side door and kissed her.

The affidavit states Cratty admitted to kissing the girl. It also states the investigator reviewed the girl's email and saw the messages between her and the coach. The investigator reported seeing emails from Cratty telling the girl to delete any images he sent her and to not tell anyone about what he had done.

A further investigation revealed Cratty had sent the picture of his genitalia from inside his classroom and behind his desk.

Cratty is out of jail on a $25,000 bond.

Copyright 2016 KTRE. All rights reserved.