- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A former high school basketball coach in southwest Missouri faces charges that he sexually abused a student more than two decades ago.

Ronnie W. White, 67, is charged in Greene County court with three counts of deviate sexual assault stemming from alleged incidents involving a student at Parkview High School in 1991, the Springfield News Leader reported (http://sgfnow.co/1h5zCln ).

White’s lawyer, Dee Wampler, said Thursday he anticipates White will plead not guilty. White, who has been released on bond, has a bond hearing Friday.

“Right now, they are mere allegations,” Wampler said. “My client has an outstanding record as a coach and teacher for many years with the Springfield school system.”

Wampler also said he’s investigating whether statute of limitations regulations would apply in this case.

Parkview records show that White served as the team’s coach for nine seasons, from 1986 to 1995.

According to court documents, the woman called White in February and recorded conversation in which he apologized for his behavior while she was in high school. The document shows that in the phone conversation, White called his encounters with the then-teenage girl a “fling.”

According to the documents, one of White’s assistant coaches at the time told a detective he caught White and the student involved in a sex act in the gym at Parkview High School and gave a note to a school counselor detailing the incident. It’s unclear what happened to that note.

Springfield Public Schools spokeswoman Teresa Bledsoe told the News-Leader the district is cooperating with the police investigation.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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