CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — A coach from Northwest (Clarksville, Tenn.) High School was arrested Thursday night and charged with sexual battery by an authority figure after fondling a student athlete while giving her a massage, according to an arrest warrant.
Joseph Hart, 48, was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on $100,000 bond.
According to an arrest warrant, Hart picked up a 15-year-old student from her home on June 7 and took her to his home to “massage the victim’s muscles due to her soreness from a previous workout,” the warrant states.
While she was lying on a massage table, Hart put his hands in her shorts, touched her inappropriately, and asked if could perform a sex act on her, the warrant states.
The victim said no, told him to stop touching her and said she had to leave, the warrant states.
Clarksville Police interviewed Hart, and he admitted that what the student said was true, according to the warrant.
“Mr. Hart said he didn’t know why he did it and that he didn’t understand what was going through his head at the time,” an officer wrote in the warrant. “Mr. Hart insisted that the victim was truthful in her statements and that he would never lie and make her look dishonest when he is the one in the wrong.”
Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools System Spokeswoman Elise Shelton said Hart was the head coach of the Northwest High School cross country team and assistant coach for the boy’s track team for two seasons but was not a teacher.
She said the school system worked with the police department and Hart’s contract was terminated.