A motion to delay was granted in the trial of a former Brook Hill coach who was arrested and charged with Enticing a Child in 2015.
Originally scheduled to take place Monday, Nov. 27, the trial of Ricky Eugene Clements, 63, also known as “Papa Ricky” to Brook Hill students and in the community, was to begin in the court of Judge Randall Rogers in the Smith County Court at Law No. 2.
Paul Clarkson, the court’s Criminal Coordinator and Court Administrator, said Judge Rogers granted a motion to delay a jury trial in the case from attorneys involved in the matter until Monday, Feb. 5, 2018.
According to Texas Penal Code § 25.04(a), “a person commits an offense if, with the intent to interfere with the lawful custody of a child younger than 18 years, [he or she] knowingly entices, persuades, or takes the child from the custody of the parent or guardian or person standing in the stead of the parent or guardian of such child.”
An offense of Enticement of a Child is a Class B misdemeanor, unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person intended to commit a felony against the child, in which event an offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.
For five years, Clements served as the Lady Guard volleyball head coach, as well as the head coach for the Lady Guard basketball team.
In an arrest affidavit released Monday, Nov. 2, 2015 investigators allege Clements exchanged several text messages that “were personal in nature and not professional texts” with a 16-year-old student at Brook Hill. The affidavit identifies the name of the alleged victim, who was a member in Lady Guard athletics, and of her mother.
Bullard Banner News’ policy is to withhold such information when a criminal incident involves a minor.
BPD Police Captain Jeff Bragg reported in the arrest affidavit that Clements “did there and then commit the offense of Enticing a Child, a Misdemeanor B, in that he did then and there knowingly enticed, persuaded, and took the child from the custody of the person standing in the stead of the parent of the child.”
According to the report, in one message, Clements asked the victim if she was at the school’s boarding house, to which she replied no and asked why. Clements responded, texting “I wanted you to come outside and talk.”
The victim questions what Clements wants to talk about, in which Clements says “Life, death, happiness, sadness, education, uneducation… dresses, etc. [sic] I kinda miss you.”
The same night, Clements sent a text to the victim, saying “I hope you were asleep and this wakes you up. I hope you can’t go back to sleep. I hope your bed is not comfortable and you can’t sleep. I hope it is so quiet that you can’t sleep – other than that – nite!”
Bragg also cited a text message between Clements and the victim in which the victim asked Clements if he knew of local businesses or organizations where she could perform service work on Sundays. Clements responded to the request, saying “I have a spare bed that is homeless.”
The student’s mother obtained two videos from the girl’s cell phone, one of which showed her sitting in a vehicle with Clements listening to “Pants on the Ground,” a popular pop song by singer General Larry Platt of American Idol fame, and another that showed the pair in the vehicle while it was apparently traveling down a road.
According to an interview between the victim and investigators at The Child Advocacy Center in Tyler, the victim said she and Clements left the Brook Hill boarding house on a Sunday of an unspecified date to go eat and drive around. The victim said the two left at approximately 10 a.m., returning around 3 p.m.
The affidavit also cites an inquiry between Bragg and the director of Brook Hill’s boarding houses, saying “it [is] not unusual for coaches and staff members to pick up students from the boarding houses for school related events… However, it is discouraged and unacceptable by Brook Hill administration… to be alone with a student for a length of time and or a student of the opposite sex” and that “for a faculty member who was not associated with the boarding houses to pick up a student of the opposite sex and leave the campus without other students of faculty present was ‘frowned upon’ and highly discouraged, except in an emergency situation and/or without parental consent.”
In the interview, the victim stated that Clements had “asked her to spend the night at his residence,” as well as “said he [wanted] to be a father figure to her.”
Also included in the affidavit was information stating that Clements had contacted the victim’s mother in hopes of the mother bringing her daughter to him so he and the victim could speak to one another, even after having been previously ordered by Brook hill administrators to refrain from contacting the girl.
In the conversation, Clements allegedly threatened the mother, saying “it would be a shame for everyone to find out about [the daughter’s] past secrets.”
According to Brook Hill, Clements resigned from his positions at the school two weeks before his arrest, citing health problems as the reason for leaving.
Clements’ name and biographical information were removed from the school’s website shortly afterwards.
After Clements’ arrest, Bullard Banner News obtained a copy of an email sent to members of the Brook Hill community on Friday from Headmaster Rod Fletcher, assuring parents the situation was a serious matter in terms of student safety and that the school is cooperating with authorities.
“We are saddened to learn that our former employee Ricky Clements was recently charged under Texas Penal Code Section 25.04,” Fletcher wrote in the email. “As you may know, Coach Clements resigned a couple of weeks ago from his position as Varsity Volleyball Coach at The Brook Hill School due to health concerns. While we are unaware of the specific nature of this matter, we have made ourselves available to cooperate with authorities should they ask for our assistance. Please be assured that we are taking this matter seriously and as always, the safety of our Brook Hill community is our primary concern. We express our love for the Clements family during this difficult time.”
After his arrest, Clements was booked into the Smith County Jail, and his bond was set at $4,000. Clements was released from the jail the day of his arrest.
According to Brook Hill officials, the victim has withdrawn from the school and no longer attends Brook Hill.
If Clements is convicted of the Class B misdemeanor charge of Enticing a child, he could face a jail sentence of up to 180 days and a fine up to $10,000.