East Texas coach accused of sex assault claims innocence

UPSHUR COUNTY (KYTX) - The Union Grove coach accused of sexually assaulting students 30 years ago, is now on administrative leave.

Three former students have filed a petition in an Upshur County court against Steven Mulkey, saying he sexually assaulted them when they were minors.

CBS 19 spoke to their attorney, Ty Clevenger out of Bryan, who says now that the claims have gone public, more women have come forward.

We also spoke to Mulkey and his attorney, "Scrappy" Holmes of Longview, who say none of this is true.

Steven Mulkey started teaching and coaching in the Union Grove Independent School District in 1982, and since then has worked at other school districts throughout East Texas.

Now, more than 30years later, three students claim that Mulkey molested them when they were anywhere from 12 to 17 years old.

Clevenger says, "They are claiming that when they were in their teenage years, that Coach Mulkey either pressured them for sexual relationships or actually had sexual relationships with them."

Mulkey left Union Grove School District years ago. It was only around July 15h of this year that the alleged victims found out that Mulkey was returning to Union Grove. That's when they filed the petition.

Clevenger says, "[My client] said that nothing had been done about it but since he had come back to Union Grove, that other women had stepped forward and she was now aware of other cases."

The alleged victims' attorney, Ty Clevenger, says at least one of the women tried to contact the other school districts Mulkey moved to, as long as 20 years ago.

"My client had been calling the District Attorney's office. She had also been contacted each school district he transferred to and called them," Clevenger says.

He says his client did not get responses from the other districts.

Holmes and Mulkey say they have no knowledge of those phone calls.

"Coach Mulkey denies having done any of this, did not do it. Does not know why he's singled out for this accusation," Holmes says.

He also says the accusations come too late.

"There's hardly anything you can do. The statute of limitations ran on this 20 years ago," he says. 

However, he states that the accusations did not come too late to affect his client.

"It's devastating," Holmes says. "Just being accused of this can ruin you."

The Union Grove School District is now investigating. Clevenger says they will interview his clients in August.

As for the petition, a district judge will now decide if there's enough evidence to investigate further. If so, another district judge will be assigned to come in and actually conduct the investigative hearings.

Clevenger tells CBS 19 that the Upshur County District Attorney is not involved yet because if the alleged abuse happened 30 years ago, the limitations period for indecency with a child and sexual assault was only 10 years at that time - which has now expired.

Clevenger says the D.A. does know about the claims, and is reading through the petition.

The school district is closed on Fridays, so we were not able to talk with them today.


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