Coach accused of sexual activity with student at school, soccer practice, SC cops say

A South Carolina coach is accused of engaging in sexual activity with a student during soccer practice, officials said.

Evan Christopher Thornton, 23, also worked as a substitute teacher at the time of the encounters, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies in a Dec. 17 news release didn’t share where Thornton worked and didn’t list attorney information for the coach.

Officials said Thornton was arrested after an investigation into “unlawful sexual activity with a student” that spanned from fall 2020 to winter 2021. At the time, Thornton was a long-term substitute and coached soccer for the student, according to the sheriff’s office.

“The activity occurred both on and off campus as well as at pre-season soccer practice,” deputies said in their news release.

Thornton reportedly is facing multiple charges, including: “sexual battery with a student 16 or 17 years of age, no aggravated force or coercion; disseminating harmful material to a person under age 18; criminal solicitation of a minor; criminal sexual conduct with minor, 3rd degree.”

The coach, a Mount Pleasant resident, was taken to jail. Police in the Charleston-area town helped to investigate the case, officials said.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately respond to McClatchy News’ requests for additional details on Monday, Dec. 20.

If you have experienced sexual assault and need someone to talk to, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline for support at 1-800-656-4673 or visit the hotline’s online chatroom.

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