A former suburban Cleveland middle-school basketball coach was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student.
Kevon Smith, who coached in Euclid (Ohio), now must register as a sex offender each month for the rest of his life once his stint in prison is over.
“I messed up,” Smith, 22, told Judge Steven E. Gall during the hearing, according to Cleveland.com.
Per Cleveland.com, Smith pleaded guilty last month to two counts of sexual battery and a count each of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
He was charged in October with 11 criminal counts after investigators uncovered the relationship that took place while he was a coach at Euclid’s Forest Park Middle School.
According to court records obtained by Cleveland.com, Smith met the 14-year-old girl when he was asked to be a motivational speaker at a 2015 event. At the event, he spoke of his struggles to overcome a turbulent childhood that included drug-addicted parents and the death of his infant brother. Both of his parents served prison time, and he eventually went to live with his aunt.
The two began flirting and sending text messages to one another, according to court records.
Prosecutors said Smith began a sexual relationship with the girl while his girlfriend was pregnant. The relationship included sending nude photographs to one another.
Court records say Smith worked as an assistant basketball coach at Euclid High School and Forest Park Middle School, and coached a traveling boys basketball team.
After his arrest, Smith penned an apology to the girl and her parents. According to Cleveland.com, he resigned from his position as an educational assistant in November 2015, and his basketball coaching contract was not renewed following the 2015-2016 school year.