High School Baseball Coach Facing Federal Child Sex Charge

A high school baseball coach from New York has been federally charged with having sexual contact with a former player earlier this month, according to the Rockland/Westchester Journal News, Robert Pope, 30, was arrested and accused of persuading, inducing, enticing and coercing a 16-year-old minor to engage in sexual activity. The coach was charged with one count of coercion and enticement, according to Audrey Strauss, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Pope allegedly communicated with the 16-year-old boy by cell phone on multiple occasions between Sept. 1, 2020, and April 11, 2021, to persuade the victim to meet Pope in person to engage in sexual activities with him. Strauss said the federal charge against Pope carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted. The maximum sentence is life in prison.

Pope was a volunteer head coach with the Mount Vernon High School varsity baseball and also served as a head coach of numerous youth baseball teams. He was arrested in June and charged with three counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, which is a felony. The charge included allegations of sexual conduct with a person under the age of 17.

"Mr. Pope is not an employee of the Mount Vernon City School District and has not been for several years," said Kenneth Hamilton, superintendent of the Mount Vernon school district. "He was a volunteer coach with the Mount Vernon High School varsity baseball team. However, upon our learning of these horrendous allegations, we have ensured that all employees and staff members are aware that he is no longer allowed on school grounds or at school events."

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If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.