Former Van Buren Schools Coach Accused Of Having Sexual Relationship With Student
VAN BUREN (KFSM) — A woman who worked for the Van Buren School District and turned herself in to police Wednesday (Sept. 2) on a warrant for first-degree sexual assault has bonded out, according to the Crawford County Detention Center.
Katherine Nicole Eskridge, 25, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a minor student while employed by the district, a police release states.
The investigation began after the high school student told Van Buren police about his relationship with Eskridge, who he said was his phys ed coach at the high school, according to an incident report. The victim told officers the relationship started in March 2015 and continued until August, the report states.
The student told police he started to feel guilty and Eskridge had stolen some of his things, so he decided to report their relationship, according to the report. The victim said Eskridge had left him at a McDonald’s in Sallisaw while they were on their way to Dallas after he made a joke about telling people about their relationship, the report states. He said Eskridge drove off with his belongings, including a wallet, according to the report.
The victim also told officers he was living with Eskridge at the time and had belongings at her house that she would not let him get, the report states.
In another interview with investigators, the student said he and Eskridge became friends after playing Trivia Crack together, according to the report. Trivia Crack is a gaming app.
After that they agreed to hang out one day in March and started a sexual relationship, the report states. The victim said that almost everyday after they started seeing each other he would get into Eskridge’s vehicle and they would go to her residence in Fort Smith, according to the report. He said he never told anyone at school about the relationship and was nervous about someone finding out about it, the report states.
Investigators also found out Eskridge and the victim had been to Dallas at least three times to meet Eskridge’s father, according to the report.
The victim is no longer a student at the high school, the report states.
Eskridge was being held at the Crawford County Detention Center on $25,000 bond. She was released Wednesday evening.
Her arraignment hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 9, 2015, according to the detention center.
According to 5NEWS Sports Director Bobby Swofford, Eskridge had been the head volleyball coach at a Van Buren middle school before she was promoted to assistant coach at the high school.
The Van Buren School District released the following statement regarding Eskridge’s arrest:
“The District is aware that a former employee, Katherine Nicole Eskridge, has been charged with committing a felony criminal offense. On August 13, 2015, Ms. Eskridge tendered her resignation from employment with the District. All appropriate action has been taken by the District concern this matter and the District will have no further comment on matters involving District personnel.”