Community stunned by arrest of coach
Wed, 01 Sep 2010 21:29:37 GMT —
A 16-year-old girl says the Mullins High School Varsity Football Coach showed her pornographic pictures of himself on his cell phone.
The coach has been on paid administrative leave since the allegations surfaced last week. Wednesday, he turned himself into police and was arrested.
Surrounded by family and friends, Gregory Hill, 29, surrendered to officers at the Mullins Police Department. "It's a sad day. I mean all around it's a sad day," said Mullins Police Chief Kenneth Davis.
The Mullins High School coach learned he faces nine counts of dissemination of harmful materials. After a few minutes, officers led him away in cuffs.
Police say Hill had nine pictures of his genitals on his cell phone and showed them to a 16-year-old girl.
People in Mullins are stunned by the allegations. "It was very, very, very, very, shocking to me. I do know him and his family," said Sylvia Davis. "If it happened, it's a disgrace," said Leroy Dimmery.
Police say the girl is a student of the coach, and the incident happened in his office at Mullins High School, where he also teaches Global Studies and serves as the school's athletic director.
Officers say after he showed the girl the pictures, he asked her to keep quiet.
Judge Billy Seales arraigned Coach Hill on the charges and set his bond at $35,000. The judge also ordered him to not set foot at Mullins High School or attend any school activities. He's also not to have contact with the girl or her family.
In the meantime, police say this investigation is not over.
This is Hill's first year at Mullins High. Before that he was a teacher and coach at Palmetto Middle School in Mullins.
Brian Hennecy has been named interim coach at Mullins High. Hennecy is Hill's assistant coach.
Coach Hill bonded out of jail shortly after his arrest.
Wednesday, Mullins School District Superintendent Michael Lupo issued the following statement on Hill's arrest:
"On Thursday, August 26, 2010, the administration of Marion School District 2 became aware of allegations from two students that Gregory Hill, a Mullins High School employee, had engaged in inappropriate conduct. The allegations had been reported to law enforcement the previous day. on the morning of Thursday, August 26, the Mullins City Police Department continued its investigation of these allegations in conjunction with school administrators, and later that day the police department assumed full responsibility for the investigation.
Mr. Hill was placed on leave of absence on August 26, 2010, immediately after the administration became aware of the allegations, and based on the information the district has been provided, has cooperated with law enforcement. It is the district's understanding that Mr. Hill has been charged with nine counts of disseminating harmful information and turned himself in to law enforcement the morning of September 1, 2010. At this time the district does not have any further information the legal ramifications of the charges. However, I can assure you that the district takes seriously its obligation to protect and provide a safe environment for all students.
Under no circumstances does the district condone or tolerate any inappropriate conduct between an employee and a student. when information is presented to district personnel that any such inappropriate behavior may be taking place, the administration immediately investigates and handles each situation as is proper, including notification to law enforcement. We appreciate the community's support during this difficult time and will make further announcements as appropriate."