Details emerge in case of former New London coach charged in sexual assault

New London — The former middle school paraprofessional and high school track coach charged with sexual assault had been placed on leave three times prior to his arrest in May, even as rumors persisted at school and on social media about a relationship between him and a student. It is unclear from documents if the student was a former or current student.

New London police charged Jevon Elmore, 25, with second-degree sexual assault at a time when the school district was under the close scrutiny of investigators looking into the alleged sexual assaults committed by a former climate specialist, Corriche Gaskin.

Gaskin is charged with a slew of felony charges based on claims he sexually assaulted two students, recorded his sexual encounters with students and teachers and shared some of those videos with others.

The two cases do not appear to be related and details of the allegations against Elmore remain sealed under a court order.

Elmore has pleaded not guilty in his case and one of his previous suspensions alleging misconduct was found by the school district to be unfounded, according to files obtained by The Day from the school district.

Elmore’s attorney, William Koch Jr., said he is not at liberty to discuss details of Elmore’s case while the arrest warrant affidavit is sealed. Koch did say he thinks there’s been “prejudicial spillover” from the Gaskin case.

Media reports often link Elmore’s arrest with Gaskin’s, he said. He said he plans a vigorous defense of Elmore.

Elmore, fired on June 13, had been out on paid administrative leave since May 10 when he was informed by Director of Talent and Human Resources Taryn Bonner that allegations had surfaced that he had “interacted inappropriately with a student(s).” Bonner said the incident was reported to Department of Children and Families.

School Resource Officer Joe Buzzelli had shared some skepticism about the potential for a criminal case against Elmore in a May 23 email exchange with New London High School Principal Tommy Thompson.

Thompson said a paraprofessional at the high school visited him and couldn’t understand why Elmore was in trouble.

“He was dating her for two years and everybody knew and why did they have to go after him after she graduated,” the paraprofessional told Thompson, according to the email exchange obtained by The Day.

Thompson, in an email to Buzzelli, writes, “Per our conversation it is my understanding that this does not need to be reported to DCF as the PD is conducting the investigation.”

Thompson also wonders in his email whether he needs to report the unidentified high school paraprofessional to DCF, “as this could be a failure to report suspected abuse/neglect. Please let me know,” Thompson wrote.

In a May 23 email, Buzzelli responds, “I believe that we know the person (the paraprofessional) is referring to.”

“It is currently believed that she was over 16 at the time and that Elmore was not employed by the school at the time,” Buzzelli wrote. “We will investigate this further. Until you hear back from me (TUES 5/28), you can refrain from reporting her to DCF as the incident might not fall under the scope of being mandated.”

Elmore, who had opened a Colman Street gym with other New London High School graduates in 2018, began working for the district in September 2018. Elmore has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Central Connecticut State University.

He was suspended three times during his short-lived career with the district.

On Feb. 1, 2019, he was notified he was being placed on leave due to an allegation of physical abuse of a student to DCF. He was cleared to return to work on Feb. 26 and told by Bonner to “please use extreme care while interacting with students.”

“Continue to utilize the certified staff in the building to support you with challenging situations and difficult student behaviors,” Bonner wrote.

By March 22, Elmore was placed on paid administrative leave again. This time, New London High School administration had received a report alleging he acted inappropriately with a student or students.

Athletic Director Kasi Fletcher had notified Thompson on March 22, when it was reported to him a person at track practice “had suffered ruthless bullying due to a sexual relationship with her trainer,” an apparent reference to Elmore.

The unidentified witness said the girl had set up a fake Twitter account to post about the relationship. The matter was reported to DCF for further inquiry.

On March 27, Thompson and district employee Timothy Enos met with the student rumored to have had relations with Elmore. The girl denied sexual relations with Elmore and said she was being slandered on social media dating back to November, when her mother had gone to police to make a complaint.

In his letter to Bonner, Thompson wrote, “the source of the rumor is still unknown. Please note that when the student shared the rumor, I don’t believe the accused was an employee of the district.”

On March 28, Bonner wrote to Elmore notifying him the district had not received information confirming whether DCF had or would investigate an allegation.

“A preliminary investigation was conducted by the school administration. Based on their findings, the allegation raised against you is unfounded,” Bonner wrote.

As a result, effective March 27, Elmore was back to school.

“Upon your return, you are to exercise extreme caution when interacting with students,” Bonner wrote. “Should any developments surface regarding this matter you will be notified.”

By May 10, Elmore was again placed on paid administrative leave due to another allegation of inappropriate conduct with a student. It is unclear from documents obtained by the Day if the allegation is different from the first.

A complaint about Elmore had gone to Fletcher. On May 9, Fletcher had received a letter from a “witness,” whose name is redacted, who had taken a statement from a student after track practice. The student was distraught and crying.

“I asked what was wrong — the boys head coach has engaged in a sexual relationship with another student — named (REDACTED). She feels like no one is looking out for her classmates — her friend who had denied the relationship with (Elmore) when asked about it earlier this year, (redacted) is very upset by this, according to the student, she wishes she told the truth,” the letter reads.

“She expressed that she was disappointed and frustrated that the previous investigation had closed and that (Elmore) was still here since he did date a student, but there was nothing that she could do because she already reported to all and was told it was all over.”

Elmore, who could not be reached for comment, is due back in court on Sept. 10. The timeline for unsealing of his case is unclear.

g.smith@theday.com

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