Hickory H.S. coach expected to face more charges in rape case

Hickory H.S. coach expected to face more charges in rape case

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by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 1 at 6:06 AM

HICKORY, N.C. -- Police say a local high school basketball coach accused of having sex with a student could have even more charges filed against him in the upcoming weeks.

Investigators aren’t saying if the anticipated additional charges mean a second person has come forward accusing 38-year-old Shawnacie “Shawn” Johnson, or if it would be additional incidents involving the same victim.

Johnson is the head coach of Hickory High School’s men’s basketball team and an assistant coach on the football team.

He was arrested Tuesday morning on five indictments by a Catawba County Grand Jury, alleging statutory rape and sexual activity with a student by a teacher.

"I didn't see anything inappropriate,” said Jaquaves Jeter, who played on Johnson’s team in 2009.  “I've seen him be a weightlifting coach, my basketball coach, a good role model to kids.  We had a bond with him.”

Jeter said he considered Johnson a role model, mentor and father figure.

“He’s a good man,” Jeter said.

But police claim Johnson is a pedophile.

Court documents charging Johnson with statutory rape claim Johnson had sex with a Hickory High School student four times, starting in 2007 when the girl was just 14 years old.

The charge of sexual activity with a student by a teacher says Johnson had contact with the girl from 2009 until his arrest Monday.

Police aren’t saying where the alleged sex took place.

After several interviews, police said they expect even more charges against Johnson.

"It's really just a culmination of a lot of people that we have talked to and continuing to talk to that has lead us to where we are, and we anticipate there will be some additional things that will come from it,” said Capt. Thurman Whisnant of the Hickory Police Department.

"That's just terrible,” said parent Letha Ahmed, whose daughter recently graduated from Hickory High School.

Ahmed said her daughter went to basketball games where Johnson amassed an impressive winning percentage.  Her daughter is not the girl Johnson is accused of raping.

Still, Ahmed wants to know what, if any, contact her daughter had with him in the wake of his arrest.

Jeter said he hopes the allegations aren't true.

If they are, he says he'd still like Johnson but the shine of role model wouldn't be the same.

"I would look at him as a whole different person,” Jeter said.

Police aren't saying why the teen came forward now, years after the first alleged rape.

Johnson has been suspended with pay from Hickory Public Schools pending the results of the investigation.

He’s in jail on a $300,000 bond.

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