Mount Vernon baseball coach faces criminal sex act with juvenile charges
A well-known baseball coach in Mount Vernon is facing allegations of improper contact with a 16-year-old former player.
Robert Pope has been charged with three counts of a criminal sex act for allegedly having oral sex with the teenaged boy on two separate occasions dating back to November.
The investigation began after the mother of the alleged victim says she found text messages between her child and the 30-year-old coach, which allegedly included sexually explicit messages and photographs.
Pope is well known in the community. He is the owner of the Mount Vernon Baseball league, a former volunteer coach at Mount Vernon High School, a district leader of the Mount Vernon Democratic Committee, and is an elder at a church in White Plains.
Defense attorneys argued the alleged victim is months from turning 17, the legal age of consent, and that Pope didn't know the victim was a minor. But a relative of the victim tells News 12 the family trusted Pope, who coached the victim since he was 14.
The district released a message that says, "Upon learning of these horrendous allegations, we have ensured that all employees and staff members are aware that he is no longer allowed on school grounds or at school events."
Pope is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday in Mount Vernon City Court. The judge also issued a restraining order to keep the coach away from the victim and he's now banned from school property and events.
The victim's family says they find comfort knowing that Pope was given a high bail that will keep him in jail until his hearing next week.
The Westchester DA's office is encouraging anyone who feels they were victimized by Pope to call their hotline at (914) 995-8477.