VALPARAISO — A delay was granted Tuesday morning in the case involving a 19-year-old assistant dive coach from Portage High School, who is charged with sexual misconduct with two female students at the school.
Defense attorney Russell Brown requested the delay in a pre-trial hearing in order to have more time to go over the evidence in the case with Jatwone London.
London, who is out of jail, appeared in court wearing a suit and sat silently next to Brown during the short hearing before Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper.
Harper agreed to reschedule the hearing for 9 a.m. Aug. 7.
The judge had entered preliminary pleas of not guilty early last month on London's behalf to two felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and three felony counts of possessing child pornography. The charges include accusations he swapped sexually explicit photos with both girls using their cellphones.
His bond was set at $2,500 cash and he was required to sign orders prohibiting him from having any further contact with the two students.
London, who has been suspended as a dive coach and held no teaching position at the school, is accused of sexual misconduct with a member of the girls dive team and another female student. Both girls are now 15, but he is accused of having as many as 50 sexual encounters with one of the girls beginning when she was 14.
The father of one of the girls said he told the Portage Township Schools superintendent and an athletic director at the high school about questionable behavior between London and female students five months before the young man was arrested.
The father, who is not being identified by The Times to protect the anonymity of his daughter, said school officials failed to respond to his warnings.
It was not until he discovered inappropriate text messages on his daughter's cellphone between the girl and London, that the alleged abuse came to light, he said.
Attorney Bob Harper, who represents the family in question, said he intends to file a tort claim notice against Portage Township Schools on the family's behalf, which is the first step toward a civil lawsuit.