A former North Carolina boys basketball coach has pleaded guilty to carrying on an illicit relationship with a student, eventually resulting in the student’s impregnation.
As reported by the Winston-Salem Journal, among other sources, former Reynolds High boys basketball coach Derrele Mitchell carried on a statutory relationship with a Reynolds student when both were at the school four years ago (though no official date of the incident has been recorded). Mitchell resigned as the school’s coach in the summer of 2015, by which point he already had a daughter with his former victim, with the former student raising the child as a single parent.
The incident was reported when it was unfolding, but both Mitchell and the student in question denied any wrongdoing when questioned by school authorities. It was raised again years later when the former female student applied for a role with the Winston-Salem Police Department. The previous line of police questioning was seen in the young mother’s record, and she admitted to officials she had been untruthful in the original line of questioning directed at her.
While Reynolds recently rejected a plea deal, a new lawyer helped him push forward and plead guilty on Wednesday, even without a plea deal. He was handed a probationary sentence of 10 months to 21 months on a felony sex offense charge and our months to 14 months on an indecent liberties charge. The case’s judge, Forsyth Superior Court Judge Susan Bray, was required to issue a suspended sentence because of the coach’s previous clean record though he will still have to register as a sex offender for 30 years and serve a total of 120 days in jail across 60 weekends in prison.