Elmore tells police students called him 'cute,' said 'inappropriate things'

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Jevon Elmore, the former New London paraprofessional and track coach charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old high school student, is accused of picking up the girl in an Uber in July 2018 and taking her to his Bank Street home for a "nap date," according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

At the time, the 25-year-old city native was operating a gym on Colman Street. He was being paid by the high school to run an eight-week workout program for students that took place on the outdoor track and football field at New London High School.  

Starting in August 2018, he worked at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School as a paraprofessional/teacher's aide assigned to special education students. 

His arrest occurred as details were unfolding in the case of Corriche Gaskin, 35, a former middle school employee who is incarcerated on charges he sexually assaulted a middle school student and shared homemade sexually explicit videos on his cellphone.

During an interview with city police in May, Elmore said that because of his young age, middle school students would say "inappropriate things" to him, such as, "You're the cutest sub (substitute teacher) we have."

Beginning in March 2019, Elmore also worked as a track coach, and one day, athletes told him to hide when the parent of a student identified as "Victim 2," the 16-year-old invited on a "nap date," came after him at a practice.

Elmore was placed on paid administrative leave on May 10 and charged by city police on May 23 with second-degree sexual assault. He was fired by the school district on June 13.

During his short tenure at the school, he had been suspended a total of three times, including the May 10 suspension that led to his termination. On Feb. 1, 2019, he was notified he was being placed on leave due to an allegation of physical abuse of a student to the state Department of Children and Families. He was cleared to return to work on Feb. 26 and told by an administrator to "please use extreme care while interacting with students."

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. That incident involved Victim 2 and was reported to DCF, which took no action because the girl denied the incident.

The alleged criminal incident contained in the arrest warrant also involves Victim 2, who eventually admitted her involvement with Elmore to police. The warrant unsealed Tuesday indicates there is an ongoing investigation involving a girl identified as "Victim 1," who is now 16.

During an interview with police in May, Elmore denied having a sexual relationship with any students, but admitted to having a conversation with a girl on Instagram, later identified as Victim 1, after he responded to a photograph of her "shaking her butt." He said he thought she was an adult, but realized who it was after seeing her at the high school.

The arrests of Elmore, Gaskin and a third employee, middle school teacher Melissa Rodriguez, along with several staff changes by the school district, have exposed alarming incidents of sexual innuendo and activity among adults and school-aged children in the school system, in local gymnasiums and on social media. In addition to the New London police investigation, the state Office of the Child Advocate also is conducting an inquiry.

Elmore, free on a $150,000 bond, has pleaded not guilty and made several appearances in New London Superior Court.

According to the affidavit unsealed Tuesday, the investigation into Elmore's activities began on May 10, when the Department of Children and Families called city police.

A high school staff member reported to the DCF that another adult staff member had been told Elmore was having a sexual relationship with Victim 1.

DCF also had received a complaint about Elmore having a relationship with Victim 2, but she denied the allegation when interviewed in March by high school staff. The warrant indicated that she later told friends she wished she had told the truth, because Elmore "did not learn his lesson" and continued to have sexual relationships with other girls.

The police went to Elmore's residence at 905 Bank St. and said he agreed to speak with them.

He said he had seen a picture of Victim 1 "shaking her butt" on Instagram and contacted her by direct message, and they talked a little. He said when he recognized her at the high school as the same person, he told her, "Hold up. We must have a misunderstanding. I thought you were a grown woman."

He told the police he no longer had social media because "the world's so sensitive." He said that after having a conversation with his parents about a lot of situations in which the girls were "attacking" young staff members and saying inappropriate things, he got rid of his social media accounts.

Witnesses told police Elmore described his relationship with the girl known as Victim 1 as "just a quick hit." A student interviewed in May told police other kids were calling Victim 1 names and that she had been absent from school that day and "acting funny."

The student identified as Victim 2 told police she had been trained by Elmore at Mr. G's gym in Waterford. She told her friends she didn't tell the truth at first because she didn't want to ruin his career. But when she went on vacation, someone exposed the relationship by creating a fake Twitter account and posting photographs of her and Elmore together, according to the affidavit.

During a forensic interview on May 17 by members of New London's Multi-Disciplinary Team for sexual assault cases, the girl known as Victim 2 confirmed she had communicated with Elmore via Snap Chat and that they had one sexual encounter.

She said that Elmore would look at her when they both worked out at Planet Fitness in Waterford, and that she started to participate in his group workouts at the high school. She said he approached her about working out at his gym on Colman Street and she signed up.

During a workout in July 2018, she said he asked her if she wanted to have a "nap date." She said he picked her up at her house in an Uber and took him to his house, where they engaged in sex, but she stopped him and said, "I don't think we should do this," and he replied, "It's okay. It's okay."

The girl's father showed up at a track practice to go after Elmore, according to the affidavit, and students told him to hide.

During the May 10 interview at his home, when the police asked him if he would voluntarily surrender his phone in order to "prove his innocence," Elmore refused and said he wanted to talk to a lawyer first.

k.florin@theday.com

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